What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by the “staph” or “strep germs.”  The infection is common in children and occurs when the germ gets into scrapes and insect bites.  Some people think that children get impetigo because they have not been washed properly.  However, impetigo does not result from lack of cleanliness.


What does Impetigo look like?

Impetigo is a skin rash that is characterized by a cluster of blisters or red bumps.  The blisters may ooze or be covered with a honey-coloured crust.  The rash usually appears around the nose, mouth, and part of the skin not covered by clothes.


How does Impetigo spread?

The infection is spread from one person to another by touching the rash of someone with the infection or touching something that has come in contact with the germs.


Things parents can do:

  • Watch your child for signs of impetigo if another child has it.
  • If you think your child has it, contact your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
  • If your child has impetigo, he/she should not return to school/daycare until the medication prescribed by your doctor has been   taken for at least one full day. It is important for the child to take all the medication even after the signs of infection have gone away.
  • Make sure that all household members wash their hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 15 seconds after touching infected skin.  Family members should not share face cloths and towels.


This page provides basic information only. It must not take the place of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to a health care professional about any health concerns.


For Further Information

Call the Infectious Disease Program: (807) 625-5900

or toll-free 1-888-294-6630

Health Topic
Diseases & Infections