Nasty rash...possibly Impetigo

Updated on September 06, 2011
J.H. asks from Raleigh, NC
12 answers

Has anyone ever dealt with this skin rash? My 19 month old son has had these red dots all over him for a month now. The first time I tool him to the dr. she said she didn't think it was impetigo but after one round of anitbiotic ointment it came back with a vengeance! Now the dr. says she thinks it is impetigo. Anyone know anything about it? Any advice how to get him to stop scratching? Pants help, but it's been really warm...Thanks for your help!

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So What Happened?

I really appreciate all of the advice! It's so comforting to know that I am really not the only one going through this! The impetigo gave way to another rash so my poor sweet boy was on some form of antibiotics (oral or ointment) for a month straight! It's all cleared up now, and we just watch him very closely. Now I have to deal with the scars from all the spots he scratched...

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C.

answers from Charlotte on

From what I understand, impetigo is a sort of secondary infection to something else. I had this as a child...really bad...from about age 4 to age 9 consistently. I only had it in one place, but it would come back repeatedly in the same place. Even as an adult, I still get it about once every other year. I get it right above my top lip on the left side beside of my nose. About the area that creases when you smile. As a matter of fact, I got it so many times, I have a slight scar on my face and my skin is nub in the little area. The doctor told my mother that I had contracted it from a Strep type virus that had went around my daycare. Whatever virus that I contracted stayed with me, and it became constant in my blood stream. Everytime my immune system would be weakened in the slightest way, it would come back. He (dr.) said it was like carrying a herpes simplex type virus (cold sore virus) that appeared on the body instead of the mouth. Anything that is herpes related will blister. I remember that my mother would apply peroxide to my skin and slightly rub until the blister would pop, then use Neosporin (sp?) several times a day. She would do this (while I was kicking and screaming...haha...poor lady!) every day until it was gone. I just thought I'd tell you about my first hand experience with this "sickness". Hope this helps even a little.

More Answers

M.Y.

answers from Tampa on

my son is 18 months and he got impetigo three weeks ago he has been on antiobiotic ointment and antibiotic liquids for the last two weeks.the first week he was on the antibiotics it seemed like it was going away but on the 1st of september it has been spreading.I have tried everything to stop the spreading.I have been cleaning the infected areas every hour with antibacteral soap and putting the cream on it with bandaids and it still is getting worse.Its now has spots on his back and small spots on his legs and arms and I'm taking him back to the doctor tomorrow but I was wondering why if impetigo is so contagious and it is spreading on him why haven't I or anyone else in the house got impetigo yet? since he is often glued to me.some family members raised the question that he might not have impetigo. Is it possible that he may have something else that resembles impetigo? if so what? I have never had to deal with anything like this before and I am confused.

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K.K.

answers from Richmond on

well impetigo is highly contagious so if your touching it or anything this rash has toughed and not got it, that should not be it. the scratching aveno baths with luke warm water will help follow the directions an the box. Calimine lotion may also help.

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C.

answers from Charlotte on

From what I understand, impetigo is a sort of secondary infection to something else. I had this as a child...really bad...from about age 4 to age 9 consistently. I only had it in one place, but it would come back repeatedly in the same place. Even as an adult, I still get it about once every other year. I get it right above my top lip on the left side beside of my nose. About the area that creases when you smile. As a matter of fact, I got it so many times, I have a slight scar on my face and my skin is nub in the little area. The doctor told my mother that I had contracted it from a Strep type virus that had went around my daycare. Whatever virus that I contracted stayed with me, and it became constant in my blood stream. Everytime my immune system would be weakened in the slightest way, it would come back. He (dr.) said it was like carrying a herpes simplex type virus (cold sore virus) that appeared on the body instead of the mouth. Anything that is herpes related will blister. I remember that my mother would apply peroxide to my skin and slightly rub until the blister would pop, then use Neosporin (sp?) several times a day. She would do this (while I was kicking and screaming...haha...poor lady!) every day until it was gone. I just thought I'd tell you about my first hand experience with this "sickness". Hope this helps even a little.

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J.P.

answers from Birmingham on

J.,
My son had impetigo a few months ago. He's 18 months old now and the spots on him started out looking like a bug bite. They didn't go away, then it noticed some others like his wrist, face, etc. they looked like little blisters. anyway, after talking with the ladies I work with, I took him to the doctor and he gave us an antibiotic. If it's impetigo, it won't go away without one. Take care.
J. P.

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S.

answers from Spartanburg on

J.,
from your description I don't think it's impetigo.

I got impetigo few years ago and it looks like a little wound on the skin that tends to (and actually does!) enlarge. Also, it's higly contagious and if you touch the infected area and, then, you touch another part of your body, it get transferred from one place to the other...it's really bad!
The good thing is that the antibiotic (taken orally, not as ointment!) works fast, that's why I don't think your baby's got impetigo. Unless the doctor ordered an antibiotic towards which your son is resistant.
Impetigo doesn't itch and does not look like red dots.

I am pretty sure your son has a bad skin allergy (that's why it's got worse with the ointment and why it itches so bad): have you changed the laundry soap recently? Or the brand of diapers?

Don't put anything on his skin anymore, leave him naked as much as you can and change soaps (laundry soap and personal soap). Try Dove without scent, don't buy Johnson's Baby products, that's higlhy allergenic.

Let me know how it went, good luck.

S.

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S.O.

answers from Charlotte on

I have impetigo. Don't let him scratch it, if possible! I know that's hard, but it will spread! And make sure you wash his hands if you notice him touching it or scratching it, because if he then rubs his eyes, he can end up with a stye. No fun, especially not for a little one!
I'm not sure what you can do for a little one with it. My son had some spots when he was a baby, and what I had to do for him, was what I have to do for myself, and that's use a soap that dries out the skin, and that will dry it out. I have dry skin, but if I notice I'm starting to break out, I wash my face several times a day to really dry it out. Yes, I'll have a very dry face, but no outbreaks. It's worth it to me.
In other words, don't rub him down with lotion after a bath, or anytime, if you start to notice the rash. His skin will be dry, but it dries it out. That's what my doctors have always told me to do.

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L.O.

answers from Mobile on

When we were growing up and had Impetigo, my mom would always put (and I'm sure I'm not spelling it right, but..) Ginchen Violet. It's a purple liquid that looks a sight but always helped cure it quick!

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M.S.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi J., My daughter had Impetigo once...it kept coming and going and getting worst with each time. the doctor ended up haveing to give her med. that she had to take for 3 straight months...can't remember the name of it...but it hasn't came back since and that was about 6 months ago.

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L.H.

answers from Norfolk on

I don't know too much about childhood diseases. Most of my medical training and experience is administrative. I will tell you that when I was a field nurse, I stressed the importance of being an "informed" patient. That is to say giving the patient as much information as I possibly could. What I have found to be the most informative if your doctors aren't telling you what you need to hear is visiting www.webmd.com. It's a free site with medical forums. It's not designed to replaceing going to the doctors, but it's a valuable source of medical information that will teach you signs, symptons, testing and help educate you so that you can actively ask your physician questions and participate in you or your childs care. It will help you feel confident that you are getting the right care for you and your family by being "informed".
~L.

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T.P.

answers from Charlotte on

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/search/search

Please check out this website. Hopefully you will get some good information from it. If you can't pull it up, go to mayoclinic.com and type in the search area on their web page Impetigo and it will pull up several scenarios including this one. This site it great to get a great amount of info. and it's very easy to navigate

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A.K.

answers from Mobile on

What does the rash look like, where is it, does it itch? My son has had a few harmless rashes in his life. The first one he had on his feet, legs, hands, and arms. They were little red blisters and didn't itch. The doctor said it was scabbies (a might that gets under the skin). After treating him for it twice we tried Benadryl. It cleared right. The second was what looked like little bits on his back that did itch. It took the doctor a while to figure out what it was, but turned out to be harmless and went away on its own. It was some sort of rosa. I don't know if any of this helps you, but hope you get the help you need soon.

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S.

answers from Birmingham on

Iam not sure about impentigo. I had this myself about 17rs ago. I know it sounds like a long time ago but I remember it vividly. If your son is only experiencing "red bumps" then I would say it is probably not what you think it is. Impentigo is like could be like a red bump but it ischaracteristics include more of a crust like formation - mostly yellowish that is ucompanied by blisterish like bumps that are very itchy. I don't think pants would have stopped me from scratching! I would take him to a dermatologist and see if that is truely what it is. Impentigo is highly contagious and a staph infection at that. I think I would get a second opinion to see exactly what I was dealing with.

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