• Introduction 

    Impetigo is a skin infection that’s very contagious but not usually serious. It often gets better in 7 to 10 days if you get treatment. Anyone can get it, but it’s very common in young children.

    Impetigo starts with red sores or blisters. They quickly burst and leave crusty, golden-brown patches.

    These can:

    • look a bit like cornflakes stuck to your skin
    • get bigger
    • spread to other parts of your body
    • be itchy
    • sometimes be painful
  • Stop impetigo spreading or getting worse

    Impetigo can easily spread to other parts of your body or to other people until it stops being contagious.

    It stops being contagious:

    • 48 hours after you start using the medicine your GP prescribed
    • when the patches dry out and crust over (if you do not get treatment)

    You can do some things to help stop it spreading or getting worse while it’s still contagious:


    • stay away from school or nursery
    • keep sores, blisters and crusty patches clean and dry
    • cover them with loose clothing or gauze bandages
    • wash your hands frequently
    • wash your flannels, sheets and towels at a high temperature
    • wash or wipe down toys with detergent and warm water if your children have impetigo


    • do not touch or scratch sores, blisters or crusty patches – this also helps stop scarring
    • do not have close contact with children or people with diabetes or a weakened immune system (if they’re having chemotherapy, for example)
    • do not share flannels, sheets or towels

    Read more

    Information from NHS website