Treating Impetigo That Won’t Go Away

Written by dad - 9 Comments

Our five year old son has been battling impetigo for the past couple of months. We’ve had it on the run several times, and actually thought it was completely gone at one point, but it’s kept coming back. Admittedly, a part of the problem was inconsistency on our part when treating the problem early on.

Treating impetigo, in the beginning

We first started treating his impetigo with Bactroban (mupirocin) ointment accompanied by regular pHisoderm baths. When that didn’t knock out the infection, he went on two rounds of Zithromax Z-Paks (azithromycin). The Z-Paks seemed to do the trick, and the impetigo seemingly disappeared.

Convinced that we had won, we stopped with the Bactroban. Unfortunately, the impetigo came back shortly thereafter. It’s unclear whether he got re-infected or if the original case never completely cleared up. Regardless, we started treating him again.

Treating impetigo, one more time

At this point, we were applying the Bactroban more or less daily. When the impetigo didn’t improve, he went back on a Z-Pak. This time around, there was no improvement, so we got referred out to a dermatologist.

The dermatologist suggested stepping up to twice daily Bactroban treatments accompanied by daily baths with a hypo-allergenic soap. He also recommended putting some Bactroban in his nostrils and on his anus once per day (nostrils first!).

When the dermatologist’s suggestions didn’t help, we went back to our family doctor who recommended that we try a new oral antibiotic. This time around, we went home with a prescription for Omnicef (cefdinir). We’re about halfway through that prescription and have seen a huge improvement.

As of today, his sores are on the mend, but we’re still hitting them Bactroban twice per day, and will continue to do so until we can’t find any spots to treat. We’re hopeful that we’ve finally got the upper hand, but we aren’t holding our breath. While we’ve dealt with impetigo in the past, it has never been this stubborn.

As an aside, we haven’t seen any red urine (a known side effect of Omnicef) this time around.

Published on February 13th, 2010 - 9 Comments
Filed under: Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. It was helpful in supporting our family who is dealing with the same thing

    Comment by Diana — Nov 17th 2010 @ 4:13 pm
  2. Thank you for sharing we are going through the same thing and it is a nightmare

    Comment by robin — Jan 16th 2011 @ 9:59 pm
  3. thanks for sharing you experience, we’re battling it now with our 6month old son, who has had it for three months now.. four oral antibiotics and five different creams and no improvement…. Will be writing down what you have used and pass this on to our doctor. Thanks.

    Comment by Sandra — May 17th 2011 @ 8:21 am
  4. Hi, could the other commenter s add more detail about what they have done to the discussion? my son has been fighting this since feb 2011, every time it goes away it comes back. it was likely excema to start with and turned to impetigo, a 2″ circle on his cheek. we have done bactroban, then steroidal creams, z-packs and cephlexin.

    one thing i realized is that no one ever told me to change the pillowcases every day and have him use papertowels to blot dry. I also didn’t know that the bacteria lives under the scabs so those have to come off before you apply the ointment. [i saw that on the web today] . after 3 trips to dermatologist he s saying now it may be a contact dermatitis, which i am sure it isn’t by look etc. a pal from miami says it happens there all the time and the kids use jockitch cream to get rid of it. a homeopath gave me an oil to try that has anti fungal and antibiotic properties, i just don’t think its enough because it is coming back. usually, whatever the treatment is, after 5 days without it returns….

    Comment by Lisa — Jul 20th 2011 @ 7:16 pm
  5. My son has had impetigo come and go for years. Two years ago my son started OCD behaviors handwashing, pacing. Just found out he has PANDAS. Impetigo is strep. I wish I knew this years ago. If your child starts OCD behavior or has any tics look into PANDAS. Keep track of how often your child has impetigo. Even the times you treat it at home.

    Comment by Rochelle — Dec 23rd 2011 @ 6:08 pm
  6. Whenever prescribed an antibiotic or similar medication you MUST take it for the full course as prescribed. Stopping it prematurely only builds up a resistance to it and you will have to up the dose or take it for a longer time. There are instances where the body becomes totally resistant to it. So please be consistant!

    Comment by Diane A — Dec 31st 2011 @ 6:39 pm
  7. Good to post info about impetigo. My six year old has been battling Sydenham’s Chorea/Rhuematic fever since March 2011. Today it is January 2012. She had no sore throat. A persistant cough. Doc thought it was a virus. Sent home. March-involuntary arm movements with a Scarlet Fever type rash on the back of her upper legs. She has had a rash. Sydenham’s Chorea is similar to PANDAS. Daughter had rash since March. Former pediatrician kept taking her off Cephalexin for strep tests while putting her heart at risk which we figured out later. Daughter’s rash is going away so far with Bactoban ointment three times per day and Cephalexin orally. We also do bleach baths twice a week. 1/4 cup bleach in a tub of water. She can’t always sit in it so I use a washcloth and put it on her rashes little by little in the tub. To help her sleep at night I give her 1mg of Melatonin. I checked on the dosage for her with the pharmacist to make sure it was safe. I read that frequent nose bleeds can be a sign of impetigo in the nose. My daughter also only wanted cool baths before she got sick. If you look up Sydenham’s Chorea on Google – that is my daughter’s symptom list for the most part. She was unable to attend school for months. Famous people with Sydenham’s Chorea: Andy Warhol and Michael Caine.

    Comment by PJ — Jan 5th 2012 @ 10:03 pm
  8. Did anyone find a way to keep it from returning? We are going in round 3 with it and have used Bactroban and an antibiotic. Just wanted to see if anyone found a way to stop it from recurring.

    Comment by Brittany — Nov 27th 2012 @ 3:36 pm
  9. I am a 41 year old female. I’ve been told I too have Impetigo. Blisters with yellow sticky ooze that comes out of them and spreads very fast. It’s been 5 months, antibiotic ointments, 4 DIFFERENT antibiotic pills, taking each round twice as long as the recommended time and it comes back just a couple days each time I stop. But now, even while being on the antibiotics, it’s still showing up. I’ve asked if it could be something else and they said no, they strongly are convinced this is Impetigo. They have treated it for Staph & Strep and nothing is working. I’m so frustrated and my poor face is getting scarred. It’s so bad I won’t leave my house sometimes. And it will finally clear up just have it return in less than a week. I too would like to know if anyone ever found a cure yet that gets rid of this stuff for good. I’m getting very depressed over this.

    Comment by Neisha — Apr 10th 2013 @ 7:33 pm

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