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Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the surface layers of the skin, which causes sores and blisters.
Symptoms of impetigo
Impetigo does not cause any symptoms until four to 10 days after the initial exposure to the bacteria.
Causes of impetigo
In the UK, impetigo is most often caused by a type of bacteria called staphylococcus aureus. It can also be caused by the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria.
Diagnosing impetigo
Impetigo is usually easy to diagnose based on your symptoms and by ruling out other skin conditions that have similar symptoms.
Treating impetigo
Impetigo is not usually serious and will often clear up without treatment after two to three weeks. However, you should visit your GP to rule out other infections.
Complications of impetigo
Complications of impetigo are rare, but they can occur and occasionally be serious. Tell your GP if your symptoms change or get worse.
Preventing impetigo
As impetigo is a highly contagious condition, it is very important to take hygiene precautions to stop the infection spreading to other people.
'I thought my son had chickenpox'
Information on impetigo from NHS Choices including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, risks and treatment and with links to other useful resources.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Impetigo treatment and what the next steps might be.