Impetigo is a common skin infection usually found in children and infants. It is characterized as single or multiple blisters filled with pus, which rupture easily and leave a reddish, raw-looking base and yellow or honey-colored crust. In most children, impetigo often first appears near the nose and then spreads through scratching to other parts of the face, arms or legs. In small children, large blisters that easily rupture can result, leaving larger areas of raw skin.

The infection is caused most often by staphylococcus bacteria, but can also be caused by streptococcus. Untreated, the infection can lead to scarring, and in the case of strep infection, a rare, but serious kidney disease can result.

Impetigo is generally treated with a seven-to-10-day course of topical and/or prescription oral antibiotics. The wounds tend to heal slowly, so it is important to complete the full course of medications. Most over-the-counter topical antibiotics (such as Neosporin) are not effective for treating impetigo, so a visit to a health care specialist is warranted.