Medicine for Impetigo: Antibiotics, Cream, Ointment and OTC Drugs

A conundrum that afflicts many parents is how to treat their children with mild illness. Do we need to run them off to the pediatrician every time they have a cough, fever, or rash? Or is it preferable to manage symptoms at home and save the long waiting room times for annual check-ups and serious injury?

Unfortunately, we are not going to tell you what to do. Nobody can because it is your responsibility as a parent to decide how you raise and care for your children. How we can help is by providing a forum here to educate yourself on the competing options of doctor prescriptions versus at-home remedies. Those avenues do not have to be mutually exclusive. A pharmaceutical can pair beautifully with a kitchen remedy for a holistic approach that yields the best results.

For this lesson, we are covering impetigo treatments from the doctor or over-the-counter options.

Doctor Prescribed Impetigo Medicine

The go-to treatment plan for impetigo is topical antibiotics. The infection lives mostly in the epidermis so direct application is effective and sufficient.

Popular impetigo medicine includes:

With the use of creams and ointments, sufferers can expect to see the condition clear up in 7 to 10 days.

Oral Antibiotics for Impetigo

If the creams don’t clear the condition up or the infection has progressed to severe levels, your physician may suggest oral antibiotics for impetigo. The medications could be paired together in a treatment plan or implemented one at a time for a comprehensive cure. Check with your GM before using both topical and oral versions simultaneously. Too many antibiotics at once could cause digestive distress or expose the victim to additional infections.

Common oral antibiotics scripted for impetigo include:

  • Amoxicillin or Clavulanate
  • Dicloxacillin
  • Doxycycline
  • Cephalexin
  • Minocycline
  • Macrolide
  • Clindamyci
  • Ttrimethoprim or Sulfamethoxazole

Penicillin, although one of the most prescribed drugs on the planet, is not a viable option for impetigo.

Impetigo Treatment Over the Counter

Since the disease is skin related with low risk of being fatal, it is acceptable to attempt self-administered treatments. Plenty of impetigo treatment is available over the counter.

Part of the OTC strategy is to take care of the body’s overall health. At its core, impetigo is an autoimmune disorder that strikes when the body has its defenses down. Anything you can do to boost the strength of your immune system can speed up the healing process. Try some of these tips:

Rest. Relaxation and sleep are the most important things you can do for your health.

Vitamin D. This nutrient is vital to the production of antimicrobial peptides for the skin’s surface. Deficiency can lead to increased vulnerability to bacterial skin infections like impetigo. Production is spiked in the body by UV light exposure from the sun. You can also supplement with oral pills, but it is difficult to absorb this way.

Probiotics. Science is beginning to understand the human body’s microbiome more with each passing year. In some cases, the issue may be a lack of beneficial bacteria instead of an overgrowth of harmful microbe. Lactobacillus bacteria, the kind found in yogurt, is displaying promising results in clinical trials for balancing bacteria on the skin and accelerating open wound healing. In one study, pediatric burn victims with a median age of 7 were administered a probiotic or a placebo tablet. The wounds of the patients that received the probiotic healed measurably faster than the control group. As more trials are performed, we could see the medical community shifting away from antibiotics, that birth antibiotic resistance superbugs, towards probiotics which seek balance instead of the annihilation of all microbes.

Ointment for Impetigo Blister

The oozing bumps of a skin condition are the worst part of the sickness. The spots become itchy, weepy, and gross. Friction from clothing, diapers, or shoes can intensify the pain and delay the healing process.

A great ointment for an impetigo blister is either an antibacterial cream, as mentioned below, or a substance that will create a barrier between skin and potential irritants. Petroleum jelly, often recognized by the top-selling brand Vaseline, is a fantastic water-protective occlusive moisturizer. It forms a layer of soft protection while allowing the blisters to heal underneath.

The salve is particularly effective for areas that bandages struggle to stick. A smear of the liniment on the heel of your foot, for example, could provide protection and lubrication for your blisters. A smudge around the mouth and nose works where a bandaid wouldn’t.

Impetigo Treatment Antibiotic Cream

Triple antibiotic ointments are your best bet for beating minor impetigo infections. It can be the first line of defense in your arsenal of OTC weaponry. Plus, you can buy it nearly anywhere from big box retailers to the corner drug stores.

Leading brands of impetigo treatment cream, like Neosporin, include three types of antibiotic medicines: polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin. This triple-threat covers all your bases for germ eradication on open wounds. Some applications, like bacitracin, come solo in a tube instead of matched up with the other two components. We recommend applying this before smearing on any petroleum jelly, to avoid trapping germs beneath the surface and allowing them to fester.



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