A nightmare scenario that all parents can relate to: you go to lift your slumbering child from the bed and you notice some honey-colored crusty sores around their mouth. What has gone wrong? Is this contagious? Is my child in pain?
The chances are good that your child has been struck with the skin infection impetigo. It is caused by bacteria that lives on all of our skin, but can develop into blisters in people with compromised immune systems. For this reason, the condition is prevalent in young children (occurring most often in those under the age of 2), but almost non-existent in healthy adults.
How to Treat Impetigo
Tackling impetigo operates best if you use a two-pronged approach: 1) doctor prescribed antibiotics and 2) supplementing home treatment.
A pediatrician will typically prescribe a topical prescription strength antibiotic to kill off the infection. In extreme cases, an oral antibiotic can be administered.
How to treat impetigo symptoms like itching and pain is with natural cures.
Home Remedies for Impetigo
Hygiene habits rank at the top of DIY treatments for skin infections. There are tonics, oils, and ointments you can utilize and we will get into that later in this piece. For now, the first thing you should do is implement these home remedies for impetigo that start with cleanliness:
Wash hands. Repeat, wash hands. Hand-to-hand contact is the main distributor of the contagion among people. After every activity, wash your child’s hands and teach them how to get under their fingernails (especially if they have been scratching).
Warm baths. A nice, warm bath feels like a luxury spa treatment, but works like a medicinal approach. It softens skin to reduce itchiness and inflammation. You can infuse the water with a number of elements to help moisturize, sanitize, and improve skin condition. During an outbreak, bathe children at least once a day. Moisturize following bathing to prevent flakiness.
How to Cure Impetigo with Natural Treatment
Standard instances of impetigo will often resolve themselves naturally, so many parents prefer to avoid exposing their child to antibiotics unless it is completely necessary. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing public health issue. Over 2 million people in the US are infected with microbes that have evolved to survive antibiotics. As many as 23,000 die each year from those infections.
Choosing to forgo antibiotic medicines and address impetigo with natural treatment is a socially conscious decision. You can learn how to cure many things without contributing to a global epidemic.
Natural Remedies for Impetigo You Can Make in Your Kitchen
One of our best resources for healing is substances from our very own cabinets. You can whip up these natural remedies for impetigo in a few minutes.
Apple cider vinegar mixed with olive oil. Dip a cotton ball into this concoction and wipe scabbed sores. The oil softens the crusty skin while the vinegar’s acid kills germs and clarifies skin.
Garlic. This bulbous root is a magical gift from the Earth. It is antibacterial, antifungal, and full of antioxidants. To activate the cloves, crush into a paste. You can apply directly to wounds or ingest.
Honey. Bees have provided humans with life-saving honey for centuries. Due to scientific advancements, we can now support historical claims of honey’s antibacterial properties. Studies have shown honey’s success in battling Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria, the two strains that cause impetigo.
Turmeric. This colorful herb is a staple in Indian and other Asian cooking. It is what gives yellow curry its golden hue. It is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory supplement. When paired against other herbs in a research study, turmeric performed the best in killing the microbes that cause impetigo.
Impetigo Cream to Soothe Itching
Scratching impetigo sores contributes to the spread of the disease. The breakouts can be incredibly itchy, so to resist the urge, apply an impetigo cream to soothe itching. Some antibiotic or antibacterial creams will have anti-itch ingredients included. Alternatively, you can apply a cortisone ointment.
These are available in OTC creams from a wide variety of brands and generics. Just be careful not to use hydrocortisone for more than two weeks at a time because it can thin skin and make it vulnerable to further lesions.
Essential Oils for Impetigo
Concentrated potions from natural elements have proven useful to humans for all of history. Essential oils for impetigo is a great secondary line of treatment to soothe the signs and symptoms, while your body heals or the medication kicks in.
Tea Tree Oil. This powerful oil is derived from the melaleuca alternifolio tree, native to Australia. It does wonders for the skin as an astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial. Apply diluted with a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil as it is too strong for direct application.
Grapefruit Seed Oil. Naturally antibacterial, grapefruit seed oil has proven effective against multiple skin infections.
Peppermint Oil. Peppermint oil is effective for minimizing pain and inflammation in the skin. The cooling feeling of applying it topically can be soothing to heated or swollen body parts.
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