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Frequent bouts of impetigo.... at my wits end.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My 5 yo dd is continuously getting impetigo on her face around her mouth. Usually on her chin. In the past 4 months she's had it about 6 times. In the past 2 months she's had it 4 times. A month ago I took her to the ped b/c I couldn't understand why she keeps getting it. Thought maybe something might be wrong. The ped didn't really provide any new info or advice. Just prescribed a new tube of antibiotic cream. We're a very clean family, my dh is actually somewhat of a germaphobe so the girls wash their hands on a regular basis (coming home from school, before eating, after toilet, etc...). We wash her pillow case and towels frequently. When I apply the ointment I use a q-tip and never touch the used q-tip to the tip of the ointment tube. Nobody else in the family is getting impetigo. 


So we just cleared up a bout of impetigo about 5 days ago only to wake up with another patch on her face again. I feel so bad for her b/c other kids in her class will stare at her and ask questions about it. It's definitely making her self-conscious to constantly be having this not to mention I feel like there is something we are doing wrong.


Our ped is new (we just moved to the area) and I don't know much about her or her experience/expertise. So I'm doubting if there is really no reason as to why this is happening (according to her). Has anybody else had this problem before? Or heard of somebody having this problem? 


ETA: should I take her to a dermatologist or some other specialist?

post #2 of 6

I am sorry to hear you are dealing with this, my son had it a while back and I know how frustrating it is! What worked for us was a natural doctor suggested we alternate between things. 1. a natural clay-such as a red clay facial mask, and 2. she made a diluted spray with water and peppermint oil. He had it on his face and legs, fairly bad so I kept him home for 2 weeks till it was all gone. It is so contagious, several kids at his school had it and I was the one telling the director what these kids had and that they needed to be kept at home. They disinfected the entire school and cleaned surfaces every day. It sounds like there may be other kids with it, and she is getting reinfected, or coming into contact with surfaces, as I remember it can live on a door handle for example for quite some time. We washed sheets and towels every day and just got vigilant, however our daughter never caught it. So good luck to you mama, if you have a  natural or homeopathic dr. you can mention those things that worked for us.

post #3 of 6

I had to deal with constant impetigo a few years ago. My ex worked with children at a dojo where it was going around and it just kept coming home. My daughter only got it a couple times, but I kept getting it on my face over and over again. I have scars from it. I ended up turning to home remedies in the end, because running back to the doctor so often was just getting ridiculous. I took a warm, damp cloth and held it on the lesion for a couple minutes, then gently scrubbed off the crust. Then I applied freshly crushed garlic which calms the itching and helps to clear up the infection. Afterwards I put on a fresh bandage. Other than that I kept a clean towel over my pillow and washed that and my pillowcase every morning, and insisted on the ex washing up and changing clothes the moment he stepped in the door from work. While he was washing, I disinfected anything he'd touched. It annoyed him, but hey, impetigo stopped eating my face.

post #4 of 6

Sometimes we have cases around here where people are catching impetigo from a water source, like rivers, etc.  Along with being vigilant at home, you may want to check into where else your daughter may be getting exposed.  I had a bad repeating case myself as a child, and it turned out to be the local swimming hole.  Also, it gets into spots on skin that are already rashy and sore, so good skin care, including moisturizer, may reduce spots vulnerable to the bacteria.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you ladies for the brainstorming. ~Passport kids: Initially I thought it could be school, but she showed up with it yesterday a.m. and they have been out of school for a week. 


FarmerBeth~ Didn't think of it til you mentioned it but she has started a new swim team at a different pool (started in Sept.). So it's possible it could be that pool. But the other thing you pointed out is the dry air. I think what might be the culprit is we just moved to Colorado from Florida and the weather here is definitely drier. Add to it that my dd5 has a bad habit of sticking her fingers in her mouth (very orally fixated) and licks her lips (and snot) A LOT! So her skin around her lips is already chafed, rashy, or sore. I suspect that this is causing an opportunity for bacteria to enter. I have been lathering on petroleum jelly on her face (especially when I notice it is particularly red) but she still got it. 


I will look into alternative treatments to see if they will help. I'm sure it's not good to keep using bactroban as much as we are. :(

post #6 of 6

Try gum to occupy her oral fixation.  It may keep her fingers out of her mouth.

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