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Conditions

Impetigo

Impetigo (Photo courtesy of CDC)

Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the skin, of which there are two types: bullous impetigo (which causes large, painless, fluid-filled blisters), and the more common non-bullous impetigo (which accounts for over 70% of cases and causes sores that quickly rupture leaving a yellow-brown crust.) The condition is most common in children, normally occurring between the ages of two and four. However, it can also affect adults, especially if they are living in a confined environment such as an army barracks…or the Big Brother house! Channele Hayes, the Wannabee WAG from BB8, expressed concern in the diary room that the unhygienic conditions in the famous house could lead to an outbreak of impetigo. And even troubled singer Amy Winehouse has reportedly been diagnosed with the condition (maybe she picked it up in the confines of rehab?) A seven-day treatment of antibiotic creams will usually do the trick, but oral antibiotics can also be used if the creams are ineffective.

If you’re suffering from any of the conditions featured on this site and want to apply for an onscreen consultation with one of the EB team then you can find more details here >>

Remember that you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

If you are worried that your child may have impetigo, check our condition guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids.

Watch our video and learn to detect those common and not so common rashes.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Impetigo is ruining my life :( I am a Nurse an get this horrible condition every 6 weeks or so. This results in me having to take time off my work. My work are now saying they may not be able to support my sick time which has left me distraught. I love my job and hate having to take time off my work ( infection control do not allow me on the ward when I have an outbreak ). I am now resistant to flucloxacillin and fucidin. With this outbreak I am being treated with eurithromycin and crycacide. This condition is impacting on my self confidence, self esteem & my relationship with my partner as well problems at work. I need help please- if anybody hs any advice I would love to hear it. Thank you in advance. Take Care x





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Hi, After reading your comments I feel I am not alone. I am also a nurse and have been suffering with impetigo on and off for some years now. It seems to be occurring more frequent now mostly every 2 months and I have to take time off work because of the job involving patient contact. I feel the GP doesn't seem to understand the impact it is having on my life. Like you, I feel it is affecting my home life as well as work. I also feel like I may lose my job if I keep taking time off, I have only been in my new job for 3 months and been off twice already because of impetigo. I wish there was an answer but I never seem to get anywhere. I know that I am not the only one suffering though and that there is support from others who are going through the same thing.

Hello my lovely, It's horrible isn't it but as you said it's nice to know I am not alone too. If we ever find a cure it would be life changing. We will just hang onto hope and pray we can keep our jobs Take care x

Since I was about 3 I've had impetigo 2/3 times a year without fail. Always given fucidin cream, and usually clears up within a week. My last time I had it was 2012 and this week it's suddenly Come back. I have been pretty stressed lately, but it has gone quite quickly as I can tell the signs and went straight to doctor. There's nothing i can do to stop it, so I just accept it and be as hygienic and clean as possible to prevent it happening.





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Can you have impetigo in your genital region? If so can it cause painful urination?





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I got a small spot of impetigo on my face from wrestling. I thought it was a zit and just found out about 10 mins ago. My boy friend tried to pot it earlier today and we had sex and he touched my vagina and so did I! My mom already put cream on my face but should I also put the cream on my vagina?? I have no sores yet but should I do it just to be safe? And if it does speak to my vagina will it be the exterior only or interior as well?? I really really need answers quick! I'm very worried about this!!





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I have bouts of impetigo about 5-10 times every year. The impetigo seems to appear if I am run-down or stressed, which just adds to my overall stress level. I usually get it in my nose, above my upper lip, or on my chin. If you take some golden seal powder (strong natural antiseptic) and mix it with a little olive oil, it makes a great topical spread which works way better than most antibacterial creams. The golden seal dries out the existing sores and prevents spreading of bacteria. I usually apply the golden seal mixyure before bed, though since the mixture is brown in color. I am positive that I have a permanent bacteria colony in my nose since that is where the breakouts seem to originate. Can you kill the colony permanently using oral antibiotics?





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Hi,I have just turned 16 and have recently broken up with my boyfriend because he had cheated on me,this time last week I began to get on my lip what I thought was a cold sore but on Monday I woke up to a huge outburst of 22 spots on my lips I went to my doctors to find out I have impetigo but now I can barely feel my lips it hurts to eat and I keep being sick because of the lack of food and drink any advice?





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Ever since I was 4 I've been getting impetigo, and over 10 years later I'm still getting them! Recently I've come up with one, which is always in the same place; my chin. It's embarrassing and I feel so self conscious, however I've been using Fucidin cream which is bringing it down quickly. I recommend this cream!





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Where did you buy that cream?

Where did you buy that cream?

I was born with the bacteria in my system and I have lived with it for 16 years. The look and feeling of it still gets me funny looks and people laugh. It's a horrible bacteria but I recommend a cream from a West Linton pharmacist! It is their own brand and amazing which helps it go down very quickly! I always feel down and upset when I get Impetigo and until it goes I constantly feel like this! I wanted to share because I don't know anyone close that has this.





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Charlotte, I feel your pain as I think I was born with the Impetigo bacteria in my system. It didn't start showing up till I was 16 and now I'm 23 with outbreaks every year normally in May and October, but this time it has moved to a more sensitve area and is affecting my married life. Thank God my wife loves me enough to not get sick over this stuff and I just want to let you know it all goes away with the right cream as you stated, I will respond with the names of them tomorrow as I'm at work and can't remember the LONG names of them.

Hey I've been really run down lately and feel seriously un well. I thought I had thrush at first then got impetigo on my face! Now I have sores on my vagina could this be impetigo also? Plz help





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I've had impetigo at the right corner of my mouth for 7 weeks on and off. I've been prescribed a 7 day course of fluxocillin antibiotics which cleared it but it returned within 2 weeks. I was then given crystacide cream which made it worse and 10 times more painful as it cracked and dried out my skin to the point where I couldn't open my mouth to eat. I then got given another 7 day course of fluxocillin which cleared it up only to have it return within the next 2 weeks. What can I do to finally get rid of this horrible and painful problem?!





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the skin. There are two types of impetigo: Read More »

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