Last Modified on Feb 15, 2014
What Is Impetigo?
Several conditions affect the skin in adverse ways. Impetigo is a highly contagious skin disorder that typically affects infants and children. Generally manifesting as red sores located on the face, impetigo usually develops around the nose and mouth. As the sores progress, the lesions typically burst and form a honey-colored crust.
A fairly common infection, impetigo presents characteristic symptoms. The classic signs and symptoms of impetigo involve red sores that rupture, ooze or seep for a few days and then form a honey-colored or yellow-brown crust. While the sores typically develop around the nose and mouth, the lesions can also spread to other parts of the body including the fingers, buttocks and arms. More serious forms of impetigo include bullous impetigo and ecthyma. Bullous impetigo typically features larger blisters that occur on the trunk and diaper area of infants and children while ecthyma actually penetrates the skin, causing deep, painful fluid- or pus-filled sores that may develop into deep ulcers.
Impetigo is caused by bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus aureaus. Individuals develop the condition by being exposed to the bacteria via the infected sores of another individual. The bacteria is spread by touching the sores or an item infected with the bacteria including clothing, bed linen, towels and toys.
Natural Impetigo Cures
While impetigo typically heals naturally over two to three weeks, treatment can shorten the duration of the condition and lessen the symptoms of the condition. Tea tree oil and jojoba oil mixed half and half treat the condition and prevent spreading. Likewise, manuka honey, olive oil, buriti and rosehip seed treat impetigo and prevent scarring from the sores. Other elements that help heal the skin and diminish the condition include lemongrass, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, ravensara and helychrysum. Continue reading below for detailed remedies for impetigo from Earth Clinic readers.
|Grapefruit Seed Extract||6 YEAS|
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- POPULAR REMEDIES
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Dietary Changes
- Black Walnut
- Chlorine Water
- Coconut Oil
- Colloidal Silver
- Colloidal Silver, Aloe Vera
- General Feedback
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Homeopathic Remedies
- Ivory Soap and Campho-Phenique
- Lard, Sulfur
- Multiple Remedies
- Olive Oil and Garlic
- Oregano Oil, Coconut Oil
- Over the Counter
- Remedies Needed
- Sea Salt, Green Clay
- Tea Tree Oil
- Vodka and Heat
07/09/2011: Denisee from Sacramento, Ca: "dont worry this too will pass.... You will get rid of your impetigo, try the remedies natural posted and also make sure to take those antibiotics... I had a real bad case of it and half my face was swollen and I went to er and got the antibiotics, after many herbal oil treatments were not working, for it was so far advanced... By the second day on antibiotics it was clearing up.... Your will clear up also, , , , , , staphyloccus aureas is always everywhere and on everyones skin everyday , , , just gets infected when we rub on an area or have a cut or someway it gets in...... You too can be cured dont worry...... And dont keep quiting your antibiotics unless you have a real bad side effect or you will have less antibiotics to work on it in case you ever get it again....... if you dont treat it it just grows on."Replies
12/15/2011: Diana from Standish, Michigan replies: "I have to deal with occasional outbreaks. I haven't figured out what triggers the outbreaks. I use tea tree oil & jojoba oil mixed half & half to keep it under control and from spreading. I never cover the sore up. I use a clean tissue if it drains. I wash my hands frequently and put the oil mixture on it every time I think of it. I have used the tea tree oil enough that I can use it full strength and sometimes this keeps it from flaring up, if I catch it in time."
12/29/2012: Podtree Holistics from London, Ontario, Canada replies: "I use Manuka honey straight onto my face as a face wash and then a salve. It kills the bacteria, sloughs off the scabbing naturally without irritaion and provides a barrier from it spreading. You can get varying strengths of Manuka Honey, I use Active 12
Do not try to use regular pasteurized, store-brand honey. It does not contain the antimicrobial properties that Manuka Honey does and will not work. To boot if you have used antibiotic creams they have a side effect of creating a fungal environment when used too long and regular honey not having the properties to kill this will only feed it and make it worse.
At night I use a carrier oil with essential oil blend in it specifically for Impetigo.
Jojoba Oil (Close to skin sebum)
Buriti (Use 10% max in carrier mix, as it stains)
Rosehip Seed (Antiscarring)
Essential Oils (Add 4-8drops of each to 50ml of oil):
- Lemongrass (Antiviral, Antibacterial, Astringent)
- Tea Tree (Antibacterial, Antifungal)
- Eucalyptus (Antiviral and Antibacterial)
- Lavender (Antiviral and Antibacterial, Soothing)
- Ravensara (Heals Scarring)
- Helychrysum (Heals Scarring)
Carrier oils that are good to use are Organic Cold Pressed (Use one or all together)"
05/17/2013: Pachi from Miami, Fl replies: "My 3 year old has just been diagnosed with impetigo. Although I've been constantly touching the rash and cleaning it and doesn't seem to be contagious at all. He doesn't have blisters either. He just has like 4-5 red little dots on his cheek/chin and now on his knee. The dr prescribed an antibiotic ointment but doesn't seem to work. I don't want to take him back because they keep saying the same thing. Is there any other skin rash similar to impetigo but with these differences? I'll start trying the natural remedies posted here. Thank you."
05/18/2013: Lee from Adelaide replies: "Go to the supermarket or chemist and buy a bottle of phisohex. Use it as a wash to wash the entire body in the shower or bath. It can be drying on the skin so take note. It's not a natural remedy but a dr suggested it when I had impetigo and it dried up all the sores within a week or two. Hope this helps."
02/03/2014: Sls from Wayne, Pa replies: "I am 15 year old female and have been suffering from impetigo for about 6 years and since last year I have just been thinking it was acne. So I went to many doctors that could not figure out what it was so finally one doctor I went to came to the conclusion of impetigo and they gave me mupirocin. This helped it only a small amount but it makes my face look incredibly greasy (the impetigo is all around and in my nose) and makes it unbearably itchy. So usually it just runs its course then goes away for a month or so then comes back. Now that I'm in high school I can't have this all around my nose! I cover it up with makeup everyday it's so embarrassing even though it takes a lot to get it just barley covered I keep doing it so it's not as red looking. I don't know why it keeps coming back. It is usually worst after I kiss my boyfriend but he does not have it on his face or body, but every time after we kiss it becomes horrible and recently nothing is working to make it better. I just found this website and it has good suggestions but everything I try doesn't work. How long is it supposed to take for the GSE to start woking I have been putting it on for about 3 days now and have not noticed any change at all. Should I be putting it into my drinks? I have also tried coconut oil which takes away the itch but thats it and tea tree oil and it just burns like crazy, I have also tried hydrogen peroxide and that also does nothing. I really need help I don't know what to do and my mom refuses to take me to the doctor because we already know what it is but this time it's not going away I've had this outbreak for about 2 weeks now and nothing is working. Please help, I'm completely lost on what to do."
02/03/2014: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Dear Sls,
So sorry! Six years is a long time to be dealing with this!
Impetigo can really hang on, but you should be able to treat it naturally. I have treated this a couple of times in my children.
Take turmeric, internally. 1 teaspoon twice a day. You can take it in milk or take 4 capsules twice a day. This helps so much! Even when you notice improvement, continue taking for at least a week after it is healed and even keep taking it a few times a week as a preventative after you heal.
You can continue using the GSE. It may just take a little longer to work.
Did you use the tea tree straight? If you haven't tried diluting it in the coconut oil, try that. Get a little dab of coconut oil and add just one drop of tea tree to it. Use this several times a day if it doesn't bother you.
We used a colloidal silver spray topically on the impetigo, several times a day. (Not at the same time as coconut oil, though.)
Your make up could be reinfecting you, depending on how you are using it. (If a brush touches your face and you put it back into the make up.)
Garlic, internally, is a great help, but not great when you are going to school...on the weekend if you will be home, you can take 1 clove of crushed garlic in some honey 3 times a day.
Plenty of water will help your body eliminate infection better. Avoiding soda and white sugar will help your body to heal faster.
Please let us know how it goes. I hope you are healed very soon.
~Mama to Many~"
02/03/2014: Mike62 from Denver replies: "Sis: Rub the area with the peel of an organic banana and search raw food for impetigo videos."
02/04/2014: Dave from Fountain Inn,sc replies: "To Sls from Wayne,
Re the Impetigo: You report the infection has been with you for six years and only recently diagnosed as Impetigo...which is either staph or strep in causation. I read that a MRSA form can also cause Impetigo which is more stubborn. If the current antibiotic fails to work, I'd consider using Colloidal Silver topically and the herb Echinacea. There are other anti bacterias; tea tree oil, olive leaf oil also.
But one note of caution; If I'd had this a long time, as you report, it may be in your system, if this were me, I would take oral Colloidal Silver for six months, orally...two tablespoons a day. I'd also keep applying topically for many months.
I ran across a recent case of a person who was hospitalized and as a normal precaution the hospital did a swab of the nose and the patient did have MRSA in her sinus cavity. She was not in the hospital for that but the nurses took extra caution after discovering that she was MERSA infected. The hospital did not treat the MERSA and a day later she went home and began swabbing her sinus cavity with Colloidal Silver. A follow up visit to the hospital a month later ... same hospital.... and another MRSA swab, found NO MRSA. She concluded the CS killed the MRSA."
02/04/2014: Rosanne from Toronto replies: "You've had some great responses, but I just wanted to add one more thought - are they truly sure it IS Impetigo? I wonder if it might be perioral dermatitis, especially since you say your boyfriend is not affected by it. I'm sorry you are struggling with this, and I hope you figure it out and get healed soon."
Apple Cider Vinegar, Dietary Changes
[YEA] 01/07/2013: Healthier from Austin, Tx: "I use apple cider vinegar applied directly to the impetigo infected skin and it kills the bacteria. It eventually heals in a few days and the recovery time is so much faster than any prescription I have ever taken for it as well as any other topical treatment. I have also changed my eating habits to eating more vegetarian/vegan options and noticed that I dont have as many yearly flair ups as I used to when I ate meat."Replies
01/25/2013: Samantha from Louisville, Kentucky replies: "How often do u apply it? My son has been dealing with it since football season. He has been on oral and topical antibiotics and it just won't go away. The topical somewhat keeps it under control. But just seems like a never ending battle. He also has eczema on his face so I just don't know if that could be effecting the healing and how do you treat both."
05/29/2013: Peter S. from Diamond Bar, Ca replies: "The eczema does effect the healing. Because the dry skin, I too am struggling to keep it under control. I've had it for about a yr now on and off with the topicals, but one day the infection went bad and the topicals didn't work as effectively. Got to go to the derm soon."
[YEA] 02/03/2014: Margaret from Knoxville Tn replies: "ACV compress followed by pure coconut oil cleared impetigo up in a matter of days."
[YEA] 08/12/2012: Herbal from Cedar Rapids, Iowa Usa: "Black Walnut tincture works very quickly for impetigo. I learned this from other herbalists. You can use the green or black hulls, infuse them with alcohol (vodka works well) and then apply twice daily. You can also purchase it in health food stores. It appears impetigo is making the rounds again and very common."Replies
10/23/2012: Tx Mom Of 3 from Fort Worth, Tx United States replies: "Have you tried this before with good results? My four month old has had it for about two weeks, so we're switching methods for recovery!"
06/11/2013: Help from Sadville, USA: "does it work?? I am trying this afternoon. I have to get rid of impetigo because I am traveling to indiana soon and we dont my old grandma get:/ HELP!!"
[YEA] 11/14/2011: Divinity from Colombus, Georgia: "I'm twenty years old and I have been getting bursts of Impetigo since I was five, I don't get them as often anymore but I do on occassion the fastest way for me to get rid of them was to go swimming for an hour or so in a chlorine pool. The chlorine turns them white and it just falls off after an hour or so. then just keep it clean and bandaged."Replies
11/14/2011: Mike C from Waterford, Ireland replies: "You might let us know where you swim, I wouldnt like to be next into the pool after you!"
01/21/2012: Mountain Mama from Jasper, Alberta Canada replies: "Are you kidding me? This is why all these kids are getting it!! You should be reported!"
02/20/2012: Motherof2 from Happy, Ky replies: "She probably has her own. This isn't the worst thing in public swimming pools. Chlorine kills a lot of it!"
05/10/2012: "That's disgusting! Get some help naturally!"
01/10/2013: Rambogoddam from Los Angeles, Ca replies: "oh please, you aren't going to catch it in a chlorinated pool."
04/04/2013: Xgrioux from Denver, Co replies: "That's how I first caught it 5 years ago! After I went swimming is when it all started! I had no idea what it was for days! Through a pic I sent, My aunt is the first to diagnose it, my uncle who was a doctor thought it was herpes. Then he agreed it to be impetigo. I was relieved at the time because it was only a bacterial infection. However, I don't know if its any better than herpes, it comes back every 3-4 months and I clean it with anti-bacterial soap, put 90% rubbing alcohol on to dry it out, then I put Mupirocin on it, sleep, drink water, wash my hands constantly, don't itch it, have minerals and vitamins all day, (bee pollen is a good source of this). It seems to go away in aprox 3 days. But don't swim in the POOL!!! This is how I caught it!!!!"
04/05/2013: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Xgrioux, as they say: the "terrain" is everything. Why are you "catching" the Moluscum and other might not?"
[YEA] 12/29/2008: Sarah from Monrovia, CA USA: "Coconut oil work wonders for impetigo. My daughter had impetigo. her doctor prescribed iodine and Bactroban cream which worked well. But recently she has break out on the lips inside the mouth. I tried the cream for a few days, but it does not help much because of the saliva. So I tried coconut oil. Wow, it works so fast! I appllied VCO on her lips just like applying lotion before sleep and the next morning the lesion became black and dried up."Replies
07/06/2011: Andrea from Ridgefield, Wa replies: "How old was she when you used it? I have a 5.5 mo old, and he has it all over his ear/cheek. Started last night with the CO and haven't noticed a difference."
01/19/2012: Chema from San Diego, California replies: "Thanks! I went and bought some worked fantastic!"
04/02/2012: Jgs from Indianapolis, In replies: "Maybe a dumb question: but where do you get coconut oil?"
12/13/2012: Jimmie from Ny replies: "Coconut oil can be purchased from a health food store and I have seen it in some markets out west but def. a health food store.... it is used for cooking and what not..."
12/29/2012: Podtree Holistics from London, Ontario, Canada replies: "Make sure its is non RBD (Refined, bleached, deodorized) :) Love Coconut oil!"
[YEA] 09/25/2012: Markell from Provo, Ut: "I used a silver solution gel (ASAP) on my spreading Impetigo. It worked immediately and effectively. I applied it nearly every hour or whenever I thought of it. Essential oils did nothing for the rash. It only took two days for it to dry up."
Colloidal Silver, Aloe Vera
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 03/07/2011: Cameron from Brisbane, Qld, Australia: "My 5 year old daughter started coming out with several large weeping sores, I didn't know what they were so simply reached for the Colliodal Silver just in case they were Bacterial and to stop an infection if it wasn't. It turns out they are probably School Sores as they have spread quickly and look and behave exactly like Ulcerative Impetigo. I covered the sores with a waterproof dressing and soaked the dressing with Colliodal Silver, this killed the Infection in about 2 days without any itching or side effects. We then used Aloe Vera to help the healing process and covered them with dressings or bandaids. Unfortunately my wife left some of these sores uncovered early on which left my little girl able to scratch and spread another few sores around various parts of her body. Expect the whole process to take about a week and the light scarring to fade slowly depending on where the sore was. Because of the infection she has now come down with a Cold or Flu, beware of this also.
We have had a few illnesses in the family but my 2 children have not yet had to visit a Doctor except for a dislocated elbow, even Whooping Cough for them both was uneventful if you can believe that. My first stop is always right here :)
Thankyou Earth Clinic!"
[YEA] 10/04/2012: Annie from London, Uk: "Hi, I would like to tell you that I find that echinacea taken in tablet form, as soon as I feel it starting(often with a chronically itching inside of the nose, similar to the feeling of coming down with a cold), or under the skin swelling, has worked wonders in stopping it in its tracks. Its stopped it actually appearing anywhere. I take up a large dose(6-8 tablets) straightaway. Keep taking it, paying attention to diet, early nights and rest. Echinacea tincture/vodka sterilises the site of it. Make sure you wipe vodka inwards. It works just as well as fucidin. Although, that helps to soften the lesions. I strip off old dead skin, with tweezers, applying more vodka/echinacea tincture. It stings but its works. Lots of sterilising needed throughout the day of skin, hands tweezers etc."
07/31/2013: Ashanti from Malaysia: "My son was infected by Impetigo 3 weeks ago after getting into contact with a child with Impetigo but after doctor prescribed him with antibiotic, it healed but 3 days ago it started to come back and this time doctor asked us to observe just by applying antiseptic cream that was prescribed earlier when he had this. My questions are:
1. Since he has taken full course of antibiotic, does he need to take it again? (am not keen on antibiotic and moreover, he just took it in April, then again end June and now looks like he needs again).
2. Does taking antibiotic frequently will create resistancy for body to fight against bacterial infection?
3. Will the bacteria causing Impetigo stays in his body even after he has healed completely?
Please advice. Thanks, Ashanti"Replies
07/31/2013: Mama To Many from Middle Tennessee Usa replies: "Dear Ashanti, If he has impetigo again, he needs to do something, but antibiotics is probably not the best option, and yes taking antibiotics over and over can create resistance, plus they will hinder his immune system.
The bacteria that causes impetigo (usually staph) generally lives on our skin and doesn't cause harm. But, if immunity is low, the bacteria is more likely to cause trouble. A cut in the skin can let it in. (That is why it is common for children to get it under the nose--from picking there and breaking the skin.)
There is a lot of info on the Earth Clinic Impetigo page:
We have successfully treated impetigo in our family with garlic and turmeric internally and colloidal silver externally.
Hopefully we will be reading your success story there, soon! :)
~Mama to Many~"
Grapefruit Seed Extract
02/15/2014: Rosanne from Toronto: "My son had a few spots of impetigo around his mouth and nose. I swabbed them three times a day with GSE in water. I use a solution of 1 tablespoon of water and 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract. I was really pleased with how quickly it worked."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 02/13/2013: Charlotte from Toronto, Canada: "Hi Guys, I am a 25 year old female. I recently came back from a backpacking trip in South East Asia where I believe I somehow contracted Impetigo on my face. At first it was dry, even if I'd lotion repeatedly. Then, it became raised and then eventually started weeping yellow crusts.
Over the next few weeks, in and out of different doctors offices, I tried an anti-biotic course, some cream, and finally Fucidin. Fucidin seemed to work. I also want to note that during the time it flared up, I would avoid make-up. Well, a week or so after it would disappear, it would return again. Slowly. With redness, then warmth, then itch and finally small, barely noticeable 'weeps'. I would go back to using Fucidin but as a female, its difficult, because its extremely shiney, oil-y and embarassing. I also have adult acne, so oil was not helping. I would treat the impetigo, and develop more acne.
After weeks and weeks of this back and forth reccurence, I found this forum which led me to a CURE - Grapefruit Seed Extract. I bought the pills and started taking 2 pills 3 times a day. As soon as I ran out, I wanted to see if it would come back, and it HAS. That is how I know Grapefruit Seed Extract was really working. I have not tried topical, but I will this week. My only question is what makes it flare up? Do you think eating foods with yeast, drinking alcohol, using make-up, make it worse?"Replies
05/31/2013: Mom Of 2 Year Old from Dallas, Tx replies: "Hi, I'm glad to hear the grapefruit seed extract is giving you some relief. As to why it keeps returning, have you considered that your make up or make up brushes may be infected?"
07/01/2013: Charlotte from New York, Ny replies: "Hi! Thanks for your reply and support. Yes I have thought about brushes but not my make-up specifically. I will definitely look into it.
I have found that alcohol consumption produces flare ups. Perhaps I have a sluggish liver and this further weakens it, making me more succeptable to skin issues. Also ties in possibly with yeast overgrowth and candida. If anyone has any other ideas about what causes flare ups, please do share.
[YEA] 01/12/2013: Jj from Bournemouth, UK: "Hello, I'm so happy and relieved to say that GSE worked brilliantly to heal my impetigo!
I've never had impetigo before and I didn't know what it was. Initially I mistook it for a cold sore and treated it with cold sore treatments and antiviral pills, however, I did notice it was behaving differently to a cold sore and I was slightly puzzled.
Then one day, boom, the rash and blisters spread like wildfire across my whole chin, around my mouth, on my lips and cheeks. It was scary and incredibly painful, and the chills and fevers meant I couldn't sleep at night either, so I was exhausted too.
I was prescribed antibiotics by my doctor and on the 4th day of taking them my chin dried up BUT the rash continued to spread at a good pace up my face and on to my forehead. Most of my face was either covered in oozing blisters, heavy crust or burning like crazy. I couldn't open my mouth much either so it was very difficult to eat too. Straws and teaspoons became my best friends as I used them to eat and drink with.
Because the rash continued to spread I knew the antibiotics weren't fully working so basically I prayed for a miracle. That's when I stumbled on this webpage and the GSE comments really struck a chord with me. That day I went to a health food shop and luckily for me they sold the GSE pills (tub of 100 pills) and liquid so I bought both, along with a huge bottle of Aloe Vera Juice.
As soon as I started taking the GSE pills (2 pills, 3 times a day), that same evening really, I noticed the rash had stopped spreading. 2 or 3 times a day I gently patted my whole face with a mix of Aloe Vera Juice with drops of the GSE liquid, as I'd read on here that using the GSE liquid undiluted really burns, and I didn't want that. The Aloe Vera Juice really was great at cooling my face which was just so hot, burning and itchy. This is compared to say tea tree oil which I tried patting on my face at the beginning of my ordeal but it really did nothing for me.
During the next 5 days after I'd started taking the GSE pills and using the aloe and GSE liquid mix, the thick crusts dried and started falling off my face, and on the 6th day my face was completely clear of crusts! My face was really raw afterwards though, and I have some post inflammation hyperpigmentation (where the skin darkens from the inflammation) but this can be covered in makeup and will fade in good time.
I also used vitamin E oil after the crusts fell off to soften my skin again because it was really dry and flaky, despite drinking lots of water. I did finish my course of antibiotics too just in case. It also took a few days for the itchiness to completely disappear. During this time I made sure not to scratch anything and washed my hands if I touched my face.
Basically GSE worked wonders for me and I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who posted their stories here, as they really helped me and gave me hope. So I thought I'd post my story in the hope that it will also help someone else who is suffering.
If you can, please buy GSE pills and liquid as soon as possible. I will always have these pills with me now I know what impetigo is and how awful it can be. The infection is hugely challenging and my heart goes out to those reading this who have it, but thankfully it's a superficial infection and only effects the epidermis (outer skin layer) so it will heal fine. Good luck to all of you, and thanks again to the previous posters, I appreciate you sharing your stories! JJ"
[YEA] 10/08/2010: Meg from Vancouver, Wa: "I developed impetigo last year after a student of mine had it all over his face for weeks and frequently touched it with his hands. Not knowing what it was when I first had the outbreak I went to the doctor and was given a topical antibiotic. It worked but the ointment was sticky and took a long time to get rid of the rash/blisters. Then a few weeks later I got it again and I treated it the same way. This year as I returned to the classroom I was hit with impetigo within the first two weeks of school. I am not sure what (or who) the trigger was this year since I've been really good about keeping things disinfected and encouraging everyone to keep their hands clean (including myself). I have been told that once you have had impetigo you no longer have the antibodies to fight the staph infection and are more prone to getting them. I was not happy with the prospect of being written another prescription and turned to my favorite website (Earth Clinic- of course) to investigate a holistic cure. Sure enough, grapefruit seed extract caught my eye. By the time I obtained my bottle of GSE the impetigo had spread all over my chin and part of my jaw plus a few spots near my eyebrow and bridge of my nose and the sores were spreading quickly, were oozing and itched! I put the GSE onto the rash straight from the bottle and it made my skin itch like you wouldn't believe and turned it flame red within about 20 minutes. I had to wash it off and try mixing it with aloe instead. It still itched for a few minutes while it was soaking in and drying but wasn't nearly as intense as straight GSE did. I saw an improvement within about four days but the whole time I could tell that something positive was happening since the blisters were drying and the itching was quickly diminishing. The rash started peeling at that point and it took about 4 more days for it to be gone from my face. No drugs, no doctors.... Ahhh... What a relief! Unfortunately I started getting small blisters in several locations on my face and neck this week and one of them spread but luckily I was armed with GSE mixed with aloe and caught it before it got too out of control. This one only took 3 days total to go away instead of 7-8 last time when I didn't catch it as quickly. Because I seem to be getting these outbreaks more frequently and I know the embarrassing and uncomfortable effects of not catching it in time I am starting to take a few drops of GSE in juice every couple of days and also putting GSE in aloe on my face and neck several times a week just to keep me from having another outbreak. Thank you Earth Clinic!"Replies
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 04/16/2011: Littlegoslings from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "Impetigo on my face has cleaned my clock. It is approx. 6 weeks after the beginning of this ordeal and just now, after a month and a half, I can say with good confidence that I have healed, at least for now. March 2011 was a tough month; it really sucked.
Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 - My 7yr old daughter gets sent home from school with a rash on her body. Her pediatrician was experienced enough to swab for streptococcus aureus even though she didn't have a sore throat.
Weekend - I have sex with my wife before any of us knew anything about the strep. I give her the "oral pleasure". Not saying this was the catalyst, but man I wish I had put 2 and 2 together beforehand.
Monday Feb 28 - I have spots all over my face. Nasty rash, but no sore throat. We're thinking scarlet fever. My daughter's culture comes back positive for strep. Pediatrician puts us all on Cefprozil, a Keflex-type antibiotic.
Day by day, I just got worse and worse. The impetigo raged on without pause. The cefprozil did nothing. Bacitracin did nothing. There was massive swelling and weeping yellow crusty stuff. Almost on a weekly timetable it would clear up to a large degree, not completely, but then it would come right back, and spread more. Up toward my temples, down under my chin, etc. Later I read that bacitracin (Neosporin) is useless it can't fight this kind of infection and it just helps to spread it around. St. Patrick's Day I was out at a bar and no one looked twice at me. By Sunday I looked so bad I didn't even go to church. Every time I thought I had seen the worst of it and was clearing up, it came back. (My little girl is fine, BTW, neither she nor my wife had to deal with this hell.)
By Monday, March 14th I realized it was coming back just as often as it was healing. I tried H202 mixed 50/50 with water about 2 or 3 times, misting my face after a hot shower with a spray bottle. This is hell on your skin, let me tell you, and it really burns for about a minute. It made me as red as a tomato, literally. But I could feel the peroxide working on the infection. Even so, it cleared up a bit, then came back.
I got a Rx for topical Mupirocin cream and a Rx for a broad spectrum antibiotic about the middle of the week. Since I had been thru a course of Cefprozil, and it did no good, I was very reluctant to take the broad spectrum. I did not take it, even though after it kept flaring up my wife urged me to take the systemic pill.
The Mupirocin topical stuff is strong, and it made me red and swollen, not as painful to apply as the peroxide but I looked like hell. As you can imagine, this was totallly affecting my job, as it is difficult to work like that, seeing customers, etc.
Even with the mupirocin, the impetigo kept coming back.
By March 21st I had seen 2 different doctors and 2 dermatologists. I was diagnosed 100% positive for impetigo and the one doctor here in PA told me she has seen a lot of it recently. But none of them could get a culture to grow. It was just my luck that every time I was in a doctor's office, there was no discharge and I was "better".
Two dermatologists told me STOP USING PEROXIDE, and the one guy said to keep using the mupirocin 5 days after that appointment. I was pretty clear for that appointment (for the 4th or 5th??time!! ) but I couldn't keep up the mupirocin. I had to give it a rest because it was hell on my skin.
I read some very helpful posts on the internet, and started using a neutral face cream (I happened to have Vanicream) mixed with 4 6 drops of grapefruit seed extract. It doesn't provoke swelling as much as mupirocin, and after 2 days of GSE both topical and using as a pill, the heat and swelling went down (again). Problem with the GSE and Vanicream is it's ITCHY LIKE YOU CAN'T BELIEVE!!!!! One of the posts here says "Don't touch it" and I can't agree more. Light rubbing of my face brought ANOTHER relapse, even with clean hands. I wash them a lot now that I'm dealing with this horror. Just let it crust over, and touch your face only when you wash it. And know that when you wash your face, it will probably make it start weeping again. I washed my face 3-4 times a day.
Grapefruit Seed Extract with the Vanicream was very hard because it made me want to itch and rub. I tried Aveeno mixed with GSE and it was better, not as itchy.
March 28th, more or less, I believe I started to really heal. My skin was starting to split, with deep red creases by my chin. That's how hard mupirocin, and this disease, is on your skin. I missed about 3 days of work during this whole thing, and that doesn't count the times I had to leave early or come in late after seeing doctors. I also read a PH web page that talked about being alkaline, rather than acid, and how it affects your health, and so I started eating more fruits and veggies (I am mostly vegetarian anyway) and started with a one-a-day potassium/calcium/magnesium supplement. I tested my saliva, I was ph of 7 at that time.
I found pure aloe, already mixed with GSE in a health store. It's very runny in its pure form. Every day I used the aloe w/GSE, plus pure GSE, mixed together, and put on after my morning shower, and in the evening after I washed my face.
So here I am now, April 15, almost seven weeks after my first symptoms. I can detect a slight puffiness at the height of my cheekbones, but you would never notice it. Still a bit red there too, but once again, you can't see it except under very bright light, like a flash photo. I got a week of FL sun, wearing a wide brim hat the WHOLE time, but too afraid to put anything on my face except the aloe and GSE, every day, twice a day. I can rub my face lightly if I have an itch, and it's not there anymore. Not that I will try and provoke it, no way. I am VERY GLAD I made the decision to not take the broad spectrum anti-biotic, but that was my decision and I'm not saying it's right for you. I wanted my own defenses to fight this off, because I have this tendency toward this kind of stuff.
Here's the other complication I didn't even mention when I was a kid I got poison ivy real bad on my hands and arms. For decades after that, I could scratch my wrists and forearms, seemingly at will, and "bring it back". I read over and over in all the sci and med literature that poison ivy is urushiol, totally topical, and cannot live in your system. I thought I was a living contradiction to this rubbing would bring about swelling on my forearms, a pimply, rough raised rash, weeping yellow stuff poison ivy, right? WRONG! I guess that was the strep/staph virus living on my skin, and once in awhile taking hold. Well, on my forearms it was a nuisance, and a curiosity. But on my face, it's a total nightmare.
Still another possibly relevant factoid for a year, more or less, before this spring 2011 battle with impetigo on my face, I would come out of the shower, sometimes, and notice a single, bright red streak on my cheek. Usually just one side, not always in the same place. Always after using a washcloth that was kept in the shower and not a fresh one. Almost as if I had scraped my cheek along a rough wall in one spot. I believe this nastiness has been trying to break thru on my face for a long time, and either the strep that was in my family, or the up close and personal encounter with my wife brought it on full force. I am going on and on just to give you as much info as I possibly can. This is a serious infection that just DOES NOT want to go away, and I don't think there are that many doctors out there who really understand it. It took a LONG TIME to run its course with me, and I had it in the worst possible place. If you see this coming, my advice to you is use the GSE and a neutral skin moisturizer right away, take the GSE pills, and DON'T RUB it. It's gross, but let it crust. Wash it off, let it crust again. For weeks I was carrying a rag with me to dab my weeping face. Uhhh, so gross. And you have to keep yourself and all those things your skin touches away from everybody else. (Although I don't think it's as contagious after weeks and weeks as people think. Still, you think I'm gonna take a chance with my family?! ???)
So every time I have an itch on my cheek or jaw, I scratch it lightly and stop. I'm still very scared of this nonsense and it will be awhile until the terror fades."
01/24/2012: Skilledlion from Decatur, Ga replies: "i must say that the info that is given here reads like a book for me. i greatly appreciate the in depth month by month info---i am a man of color (afro-amer. , if you like) i thought my impetigo was brought on by a nasty ingrown hair (which i often have).
i've had to have my face lanced before and thought about it this time---however this was my first episode with impetigo. the ingrown hair grew to enormous bump, which was drained instead of being lanced. from there the impetigo has had its way with me. this would be the second occurence within a year.
i have tried everything listed in the previous post--from grapeseed extract to colliod silver, frequent use of tea tree oil/lavender, in addition to tea tree soap as a constant facial wash. i will most def try the coconut oil.
i must certaintly say that having to deal with customers in any environment is most uncomfortable and embarassing --for all of that are out there enduring this nightmare/daymare--- continue to pray to the creator of all things to send a natural cure not a man-made fix.
03/30/2012: J from Farmington, Nm, Usa replies: "Interesting- I read the reason for not using neosporin is because after prolonged usage, you can develop an allergy to it!
I get occassional impetigo outbreaks on my chin and recently on my cheek. The first time it happened, I assumed it was a zit that got infected.
Because I don't have insurance, I have to treat non-serious health issues at home. The last outbreak was pretty scary as I developed large clear blisters on my cheek which never happened before.
I use a combination of things to treat an impetigo outbreak:
1. I wash the area with a medical grade sterile wash.
2. I then dab some rubbing alcohol, then dress the area with sterile bandages and Neosporin.
3. 2-4 times a day I will soak a paper towel in vinegar and hold it on the infected area up to 20 minutes.
4. 2-4 times a day, I will make a paste of garlic cloves and leave it on the affected area as long as I can stand it.
5. Generally, I keep the area bandaged until it scabs over.
6. If I even suspect I might get an outbreak, I start rubbing a cut garlic clove on the suspicious area and do the vinegar treatment. It saved me from getting an outbreak about 1 month ago.
I will have to try the grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver sometime. Thanks for the tips."
[YEA] 04/13/2012: Teknut from Seattle, Wa replies: "My Impetigo just kept getting worse and worse, started from my leg ( 2 giant spots ), then up to my arms. I've tried antibiotics nad ointments. It seemed like they would work, but after going through the whole bottle of pills, it was was still apparant the impetigo was running rampant.
I googled ' impetigo remedies ' and it brought me here. Went to Walgreens and bought a $10 GSE bottle that came with 100 pills.
AND OMG AM I HAPPY!!!! The scars are fading, the swelling has gone down, and my skin looks like its clearing up. Its been day #2 of taking 3 pills, twice a day morning and night. Waking up on my 3rd day, and the impetigo is dry and feels like its healing really well.
thank you for this suggestion.
btw, the garlic and olive oil did not work for me. but GSE is amazing."
05/14/2012: Melle from London, Uk replies: "Wow thanks for the advice!!!!! I caught this from a "friend" who I kisssed over the weekend just realised this morning the cut he had was actually impetigo as I woke up to the same on my chin, I rushed out this afternoon to the health food store treating it with a good soaking of water then tea tree followed by Grapefruit seed oil and re applied ever few hrs it's no longer weeping an has almost totally dried up!
thanks you thank you thank you!!! X"
05/15/2012: Quiet from Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Usa replies: "@J from Farmington, Nm, Usa: Regarding touching impetigo with rubbing alcohol--that is something I quickly learned *not* to do. Rubbing alcohol 70% was so irritating to my itchy blisters that they would immediately swell up even higher and itch more ferociously. I think the consequent swelling helped them to spread, not really what I wanted to see happen. I switched to using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) between washing and before applying topical oil treatments. It is much more gentle on your skin and the oxygen is good."
[YEA] 08/09/2012: Pigeongurl from Lowell, Mi replies: "YEA! I believe I've had impetigo before, but thought it to be poison ivy that was randomly spreading. This time, It happened after bathing the dogs. I had what appeared to be tiny flea bites all under my shorts and shirt. By the next morning I had even more and they began to itch relentlessly just like poison ivy! Rubbed hydrocortisone cream on which helped, but they grew bigger, more like a large mosquito bite with a tiny white head.
After a few days they'd calm down, but then new ones popped up. Couldn't figure out why fleas would go after me and no one else in the family, so next conclusion was an allergy to sunscreen. Spots seemed to pop out shortly after being outside in the sun and sweating. Seemed to last longer than at first. Still just mainly on my truck of my body. No face, arms or lower legs.
Then I made the mistake of shaving and trimming up my bikini area. Appearently this spread the impetigo to a very unpleasant region! Again, I had figured it was a simple allergy, nothing spreadable. When it spread down there, it got BAD. Large, blistering, itchy oozing sores that spread VERY quickly. I began to wonder if my husband had cheated on me and somehow given me herpes! But he didn't have any lesions, and only got 3 after intercourse with me (just before the spots popped out everywhere in my lower regions. No doubt this caused it to spread). After running through an entire list of possible STD's, rashes and ailments, I finally found info on impetigo.
By this time it had spread so badly in my "under region" that I could not even pee. Everything was badly swollen and infected. It looked and felt like %%%%! I was in AGONY! Tried cranberry juice to help, drank an entire jug in one day with NO relief!
Before finding this site, here's what I tried on my "bad" spots: hydrocortisone cream -didn't work.
- over the counter menthol and spray anti-itch ointments -- burned VERY badly but numbed the area (didn't cure it)
- Iveyrest Poison Ivy Cream: worked on the not so bad spots, kept it under control and dried lesions, but didn't keep new spots from developing, and hard to keep it dry "down there".
- Triple Anti-Biotic Cream: didn't work.
****Remedies tried from this site and others I tried:
- Vinegar: works well. Saturated a paper towel and held it on my bad spot areas. Burned slightly but vinegar is a natural bacteria killer. Seemed to help keep them from spreading when done twice a day (change underwear too! )
- BATH: added epsom salt (about 1-2 cups) into warm bath with tea tree oil and crushed garlic cloves. Very soothing and a good way to wash gently.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: used as an antiseptic similar to vinegar. Burned less than vinegar, worked to dry spots out after shower/bath. May dry too much and cause scarring though...
- TUMERIC (PILLS): Tumeric added to food at the rate of 1 tsp is harsh to eat. Tumeric pills are MUCH better! Take 3 pills 3 times a day. TUMERIC DID HELP!!! After 24 hrs on it I could pee with NO pain, and the swelling had gone down a lot. However the spots were still spreading and VERY itcy after 4 days of pills (took me FOREVER to locate Grapefruit Seed Extract)
- GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT: BEST REMEDY! After just 12 hrs on the pills 3 times a day, I notced the spots fading away, and not so much itch. Spots stopped spreading and seem to be finally gone after 1 week of pills!
- OLIVE OIL/GARLIC: For my itchy spots I poured 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil into a small dish and mashed a garlic clove and added it to oil. Used fork to mash it into oil more and release juices. Let sit 1 hr then apply with q-tip or cotton ball to spots. STOPS ITCH, STOPS SPREAD. This was a VERY SOOTHING treatment on my under-regions and despite the oil you didn't notice fealing greasy. Only soothed. Olive oil has healing properties and garlic is a natural sulphuric antibiotic.
BOTTOM LINE: Keep the olive oil/garlic always ready in the bathroom. When a spot pops up apply the mix to it and it will calm down and not spread.
Thank you thank you thank you for this site and ALL the helpful remedies!"
[YEA] 08/08/2008: Zanz from Nelson , New Zealand: "i have recently stumbled apon the most fantastic cure all!!!!!! grapefruit seed extract has served as a mirical cure for my double whammy fungal infection which then spawned impetigo! i had been back to the quack 3 times prescribed antibiotics which 1/2 worked but then the sores spread! i was devistated as they were set to take over my whole face! then fate stepped in and handed me a little bottle of GSE whithin 3 days the impetigo was peeling away to reveal beautifull healthy skin underneath and after just 8 days my face was compltetly clear and even the annoying hormonal breakouts i get on the sides of my chin have shown dramatic healing and i mean dramatic! I took GSE internally and i wash my face with it morning and night and put a couple of drops in almond oil as a moisteriser."Replies
[YEA] 10/08/2009: Adela from Sherman Oaks, Ca, USA replies: "Impetigo developed on my face and I have tried so many medicines/crÃ¨mes prescribed by doctors even the newest one known as the altabax but nothing worked for months. Lastly I tried grapefruit seed extract by applying it on my impetigo 4 times a week. For me it started to itch really bad exactly where the impetigo was. It started becoming red and when it became too itchy I took it off. During the other days, I washed the impetigo with hydrogen peroxide. I held the cotton soaked with the hydrogen peroxide on my impetigo until the pimples become white. It will burn if you hold it enough and the pimple will become white but if you do this 2 times a day, eventually it will go away. It took me two weeks to remove the impetigo and I'm so happy I cured myself because it looked terrible. After that your skin can be kind of red but eventually it will heal and it will become a new healthy skin."