What is it?

Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection which causes sores and blisters. Its very common and affects mainly children.

Impetigo that affects otherwise healthy skin is referred to as primary impetigo.

If the infection is the result of another underlying skin condition, such as atopic eczema, its referred to as secondary impetigo.

What are the symptoms?

Impetigo does not cause any symptoms until four to 10 days after you first become infected. This means that people can easily pass the infection onto others without realising it.

There are two main types of impetigo, known as non-bullous and bullous impetigo, which have different symptoms. Most people with impetigo have the non-bullous type.

The symptoms of non-bullous and bullous impetigo are described below.

Non-bullous impetigo

The symptoms of non-bullous impetigo begin with the appearance of red sores usually around the nose and mouth but other areas of the face and the limbs can also be affected.

The sores quickly burst leaving behind thick, golden crusts typically around 2 cm across. The appearance of these crusts is sometimes likened to cornflakes stuck to the skin.

After the crusts dry, they leave a red mark that usually heals without scarring. The time it takes for the redness to disappear can vary between a few days and a few weeks.

The sores are not painful, but they may be itchy. It is important not to touch, or scratch, the sores because this can spread the infection to other parts of your body, and to other people.

Other symptoms, such as a high temperature (fever) and swollen glands, are rare but can occur in more severe cases.

Bullous impetigo

The symptoms of bullous impetigo begin with the appearance of fluid-filled blisters (bullae) which usually occur on the trunk (the central part of the body between the waist and neck) or on the arms and legs. The blisters are usually about 1-2cm across.

The blisters may quickly spread, before bursting after several days to leave a yellow crust that usually heals without leaving any scarring.

The blisters may be painful and the area of skin surrounding them may be itchy. As with non-bullous impetigo, it is important that you do not touch or scratch the affected areas of the skin.

Symptoms of fever and swollen glands are more common in cases of bullous impetigo.

Home Remedy


  • Aloe vera gel helps to cure Impetigo naturally when used topically regularly four to five times a day.
  • Apple cider vinegar diluted in olive oil for cleaning the affected area helps to remove impetigo scabs.
  • Garlic: applying crushed on the affected area is one of the effective natural home remedies for impetigo home treatment. In addition to this, consumption of two or three garlic cloves every day also aids in the healing process.
  • Grapefruit seed extract is an excellent therapeutic home remedies for impetigo.
  • Olive oil can help to clear up impetigo rashes.
  • Tea tree oil is an excellent therapeutic home remedies for impetigo.
  • Turnip is regarded as the one of the best impetigo home remedies. For this, slices of turnip should be soaked in rice water or apple cider vinegar for about six hours. Then, eat these turnip slices on a regular basis as an effective natural remedy.

Things to watch out for

Impetigo isnt usually serious, but it can sometimes have similar symptoms to more serious conditions such as cellulitis. GP should be contacted to rule out any serious conditions.

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