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<p>So my toddler has had a small sore at the corner of her mouth for a couple of weeks now, and my nurse-practitioner MIL diagnosed it yesterday as impetigo.  I was assuming it was just chapped/dry skin for a while, and was putting lip balm on it when she asked. Didn't occur to me that it might be something contagious!  <span><img alt="duh.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="width:21px;height:22px;"> </span></p>
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<p>Now I'm wondering if I should throw away all my lip balm?  Information online about impetigo seems to be all over the map -- some recommend total quarantine, some just say 'wash your hands well.'  I haven't developed it yet, after sharing the lip balm with her for well over a week (d'oh), but I'm wondering if I should pitch it just to be safe?  </p>
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<p>Also, is there anything else I should be doing to help keep this from spreading?  Because of the holidays, of course, she's been kissing every relative we have, so if there's any contagion being spread, the damage has already been done. <span><img alt="bag.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/bag.gif" style="width:18px;height:19px;"></span></p>
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<p>Anything else we can do to avoid making it worse?  Anyone had any experience with this and have advice?    </p>
 

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<p>With something like lip balm, I'd probably get rid of it.</p>
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<p>Impetigo can get pretty nasty. Ds had it on his leg. It started as a tiny scratch- like 1/4 of an inch, and then it started to get bubbly-looking and it spread and got bigger and nastier. I tried OTC antibiotic cream and that didn't even begin to touch it, so I took him to the doctor. She looked at it and made a huge noise of surprise. I mentioned that it started out as a tiny cut, and she said, "Ohhhhhhhh. That's impetigo. If you hadn't told me that, I would've assumed it was a burn." THAT'S how nasty it looked! Huge blisters and stuff, and it came on in a number of days. A round of abx cleared it right up- I think we saw improvement in about two or three days, and within a week it was gone, all except some discoloration where the impetigo was. And the discoloration stayed for the better part of a year, so be careful with anything to do on her face. That's not a good place for scarring.</p>
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<p>Hope she heals soon. :)</p>
 

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<p>My daughter caught it in kindergarten last year and it was a tiny spot that looked at first like a cold sore.  I recognized it as impetigo and took her to the doctor for a Rx cream.  I saw the kid she caught it from (boo for shared supplies) and he had it everywhere.  So bad that I couldn't believe they let him be in school.  I used the cream and kept dd's covered with a bandage until the scab was gone and none of the rest of our family caught it.</p>
 

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<p>I would ditch the lip balm. Wash all wash cloths, towels, and her pillowcases in HOT water (bleach if they're white and you're not totally anti-bleach).</p>
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<p>Attack it with an OTC anti-biotic ointment as many times a day as she'll let you or at least 3-4 times a day. If you see her touch it with her fingers, you might make her go wash her hands. (But I wouldn't be a huge stickler for this one, unless she's with other children all day. DS was 18 mos, and it was on his fingers, so there was no way I was washing his hands ALL the time.) The usual wash-before-you-eat and after you potty should be a good starting point.</p>
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<p>Colloidal silver, TTO, garlic are other things that help with killing germs, but not so sure I'd want TTO near her mouth. I might make some garlic-heavy dishes over the next few days. You can get the silver in a spray, which I think would be safe to spray on her mouth. (Mine says you can spray it IN your mouth/throat, and I do when I feel a sore throat coming on.)</p>
 

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<p>It's pretty contagious, but it's also opportunistic. it isn't going to super easily spread to everyone though. An already open boo-boo (like cracked lips or nose) makes a great site for it to start. And, kids just touch their faces/owies more than we do and just tend to spread it easier.</p>
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<p>I'd toss the lip balm. Change her pillowcase daily. Don't let her share towels. Apply ointment (you can get a prescrip from the doc, but IMO it's not necessary unless it's spreading and looking bad).</p>
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<p>I had it as a kid and no one else in the family got it, and mine was NASTY awful as I got it at sleep away camp and it was out of control when I got home.</p>
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<p>My ds also had it, and like PP I knew EXACTLY what it was. Put on triple antibiotic ointment and washed and no one else got it. But, he did have to stay out of daycare for a week.</p>
 
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