Lifestyle and home remedies

For minor infections that haven't spread to other areas, you could try treating the sores with an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or ointment that contains bacitracin. Placing a nonstick bandage over the area can help prevent the sores from spreading.


Keeping skin clean is the best way to keep it healthy. It's important to wash cuts, scrapes, insect bites and other wounds right away.

To help prevent impetigo from spreading to others:

  • Gently wash the affected areas with mild soap and running water and then cover lightly with gauze.
  • Wash an infected person's clothes, linens and towels every day and don't share them with anyone else in your family.
  • Wear gloves when applying antibiotic ointment and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
  • Cut an infected child's nails short to prevent damage from scratching.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Keep your child home until your doctor says he or she isn't contagious.