Learn about impetigo and book an appointment with a PillSorted online pharmacist to get further consultation on treatments and prescriptions.

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Impetigo, sometimes referred to as school sores, is a usually not serious but highly contagious bacterial skin infection that can occur in people of any age, but most commonly affects children. The first signs of infection are red sores or blisters around the nose and mouth—but they can also appear on any other parts of the body. When the sores break open, they can ooze fluid, forming a tell-tale yellow-brown crust that can be extremely uncomfortable and visually unpleasant.



The two most common types of bacteria that cause impetigo are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. These bacteria easily enter the skin through cuts, scrapes, or insect bites and can then spread from one person to another through touching, scratching, and even through sharing contaminated items such as towels or clothing.

Because certain conditions that create wounds that can increase your risk of getting impetigo, be extra careful if you have:


The symptoms of impetigo may include:

  • Small red sores that crust over quickly
  • Large blisters that may take longer to burst and develop a yellow-brown crust
  • Itching
  • Swollen lymph nodes (lymph glands)
  • Pain or discomfort in the infected area


Treatment for impetigo depends on your symptoms, but getting back to having healthy skin may take over a week and involve:

  • Topical antibiotics in the form of creams or ointments
  • Oral antibiotics may be prescribed for more severe or widespread infections
  • Hydrogen peroxide cream

If you suspect you have impetigo and need help, a PillSorted pharmacist can provide you with advice and treatment online, without the need to visit your GP. This is a free service as part of the UK’s Pharmacy First program.

PillSorted provides advice & NHS-funded treatment for impetigo. Book an appointment now if you would like a consultation.


What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is NHS funded program that allows pharmacists to supply prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals if clinically appropriate, to treat several common health conditions, including impetigo, without the need to visit a GP.

How long does impetigo last?

With appropriate treatment, impetigo typically clears up within 7 to 10 days. However, the duration of the infection may vary depending on factors such as the severity of the infection and the effectiveness of treatment.

How does impetigo stop being contagious?

Impetigo stops being contagious 48 hours after using hydrogen peroxide cream or antibiotics.

How can I stop impetigo from spreading?

Avoid contact with the infected area and picking at sores. Keep sores covered. Do not share towels (wash and dry towels in high heat) or personal items. Keep cuts, scratches and bites clean with soap and water. Wash your hands frequently and clean and disinfect surfaces.

NHS Pharmacy First Service

NHS Pharmacy First Service

PillSorted provides advice & NHS-funded treatment for Impetigo.

NHS PillSorted