Natural Treatments for Childhood Impetigo

Jul 16, 2015

Impetigo is one of those diseases that spreads rapidly from one child to another in daycare centers and schools. Natural remedies for children's impetigo include grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, turmeric and dietary changes. Impetigo is an extremely contagious skin infection that adults can also catch (sometimes from their own children).

Isolate the Child When the First Symptoms Develop

Preventing the spread of impetigo is easier than treating more patients. Be careful when washing any infected area, as the germs will spread. The child should have his/her own disposable sponge and towel that are not used by anyone else and changed or washed frequently. Do not use harsh detergents.

Natural Remedies for Childhood Impetigo

Some strains of Staphylococcus Aureaus have become resistant to antibiotics. Many consider it a good idea to treat impetigo with natural remedies, especially In the early stages. Although impetigo usually heals naturally over two to three weeks, natural remedies can heal it sooner and with fewer symptoms. (If antibiotics are used, be sure to supplement with a good probiotic during and after the treatment.)

Grapefruit Seed Extract - Earth Clinic's Most Popular Remedy for Impetigo

Grapefruit Seed Extract is a very powerful antioxidant and non-toxic disinfectant. Among its many benefits, it is effective when used for topical skin infections, such as impetigo.

An Earth Clinic reader sent this post to us. "My son had a few spots of impetigo around his mouth and nose. I swabbed them three times a day with Grapefruit Seed Extract (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."

Aloe Vera Juice and Grapefruit Seed Extract

Substiture Aloe Vera Juice for the water in the treatment above (1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera Juice with 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract). The Aloe Vera Juice will help cool the rash and stop much of the itching.

Colloidal Silver and Turmeric

Colloidal silver and turmeric are "must-haves" for many Earth Clinic readers.  Earth Clinic's frequent poster, Mama to Many, sent us this record of her successful treatment of her son's impetigo.

"My nine year old son had impetigo under his nose. I sprayed colloidal silver onto the area every time I thought of it. (Probably 5 times a day.) It cleared up in a few days.  I think it cleared up easily with the silver because he was already taking turmeric for something else. He was taking 4 capsules (or 1 teaspoon) twice a day. That may be a lot of turmeric for a 9 year old, but he is a big boy and has taken turmeric often in the past, so I knew that it would be fine for him. Usually for a child of that age I would use 1/2 teaspoon of 2 capsules twice a day."

Dietary Changes to Support the System and for Future Health

  • Support the immune system with organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 
  • Eat fewer animal-based proteins.
  • Use extra-virgin olive oil as the primary fat, replacing polyunsaturated vegetables oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, etc. 
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids are important for daily health.
  • Ginger and Turmeric should be consumed regularly because of the antiinflammatory effects.

Impetigo Table of Contents

Please check the Impetigo Table of Contents on the right hand side of this page for a full list of natural treatments for children's impetigo.

What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is usually seen in young children between the ages of 2 to 6.  It is seen most often during the summer and early fall. The first sign that should alert a parent or other adult is red, oozing sores or blisters near the lips or nose. The sores are infected with bacteria, usually Staphylococcus aureaus. When the child scratches (this is very itchy), the infection spreads quickly across the face and to other parts of the body.  In a few days, a yellow-brown crust forms over the oozing sores.  The bacteria easily spread when someone touches the sores or an item contaminated with the bacteria, such as clothing, bed linen, towels and toys. Hands and fingernails are the most common source of contamination, spreading the germs.

Infants in diapers can develop the more serious bullous impetigo and ecthyma.  Bullous Impetigo presents as larger blisters on the trunk and diaper area.  Ecthyma is a more serious progression in which the blisters form deep, painful fluid- or pus-filled sores that penetrate into the skin and can develop into deep ulcers.

Be aware that in rare cases, impetigo can become quite serious in children with compromised immune systems as the bacteria can cause strep throat and scarlet fever.  Complications such as heart and kidney disease, pneumonia and meningitis can develop. Impetigo can also appear as a secondary infection following atopic eczema, scabies or head lice.

Continue reading below for more impetigo remedies from Earth Clinic readers.  Please let us know about your own favorite treatments for impetigo.

Additional Pages of Interest:

Impetigo in Adults



Coconut Oil  

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Posted by Sarah (Monrovia, CA USA) on 12/29/2008
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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.


Colloidal Silver and Turmeric  

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Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee, Usa) on 06/23/2015
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My nine year old son had impetigo under his nose. I sprayed colloidal silver onto the area every time I thought of it. (Probably 5 times a day.) It cleared up in a few days.

I think it cleared up easily with the silver because he was already taking turmeric for something else. He was taking 4 capsules (or 1 teaspoon) twice a day. That may be a lot of turmeric for a 9 year old, but he is a big boy and has taken turmeric often in the past, so I knew that it would be fine for him. Usually for a child of that age I would use 1/2 teaspoon of 2 capsules twice a day.

~Mama to Many~


Grape Seed Extract, Garlic  

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Posted by Island Mommy (St. Thomas, Vi, Usa) on 04/07/2013
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Wow, I'm such a scatter brain! I was reading the results with Grapefruit seed extract, and I misread the posts and thought it was Grape Seed extract, but hey, it worked. I'm not sure if it was the GSE, or the Garlic oil that I mixed together with it, but hey, it worked! They ony had GSE in powdered pill form, so I cut open the pills, and made a paste with garlic oil, and I was definitely happy with the results!! My 19 month old had gotten impretigo 2 times before, and I used antibiotics both times, but when he contraced it again, I was totally fed up, and didnt want him on the meds anymore, especially since his teeth were browning from them. I also bathed him in a bath with tea tree oil drops. I am soooo grateful to Earth Clinic for finding alternative remedies for my children!


Grapefruit Seed Extract  

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Posted by Rosanne (Toronto) on 02/15/2014
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My son had a few spots of impetigo around his mouth and nose. I swabbed them three times a day with Grapefruit Seed Extract (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.


Homeopathic Remedies  

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Posted by Me (Fremont, Ca) on 11/13/2010
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My four and seven year olds recently got blisters that grew quickly and scarily. I now believe this was impetigo because of its appearance and aggressive progression, but at the time all we could think of is poison oak. We purchased Hylands Homeopathic Poison Ivy / Oak Remedy, a sublingual tablet and followed the directions. Interestingly, it has worked amazingly well! Within maybe two days the sores were visibly smaller and continued to clear until gone.

My friend's son caught it from my son and they went the antibiotic route. Their son's sores returned but with this homeopathic remedy it has not come back for us. The formula on the back is listed as: RHUS TOXICODENDRON 6X, HPUS; CROTON TIGLIUM 6X, HPUS; XEROPHYLLUM 6X, HPUS; IN A BASE OF A LACTOSE USP.


Ivory Soap and Campho-Phenique  

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Posted by Elaine (Lubbock, TX) on 08/10/2007
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When I was very young, I had impetigo on half of my head. My mother stumbled onto the simplest remedy after all other traditional medical treatments failed. She would wash the area with plain Ivory soap, and then apply Campho-Phenique. The impetigo healed within days, instead of the weeks that she had used the usual prescribed methods of antibiotics and salves. Years later when I had my own daughter, I was trying the usual modern medicine way, the doctor had prescribed gentian violet (which burns like the dickens) and the condition was just spreading. My mother reminded me of how she helped mine to heal and I promptly did as she had, and I am happy to report that the impetigo that I had battle with my daughter for a couple of weeks, was rapidly healed within 48 hours of starting the soap, water and campho-phenique. Sometimes simplicity is the key.


Multiple Remedies  

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Posted by Equality (Atlanta, Ga, Usa) on 06/14/2010
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Hello, I REALLY need help finding a cure for my 7 month old daughter's impetigo. The prescription creams and oral antibiotics are not working. I have also tried giving her turmeric mixed in her baby food, applied a turmeric cream to her skin, tried putting baking soda and peroxide in baths. Nothing seems to be working. I saw some improvement by keeping the sores covered with bandages, however she has many sores and the challenge is getting them all covered without her getting upset, which seems to make the condition worse. Whenever she cries the sores weep. I have read some of Ted's suggestions and the one where you mix borax, iodine, baking soda etc...seems like it might work, but I don't know the EXACT recipe. I already have most things to make the mix. FYI my daughter is has just been introduced to a few solid foods, and generally eats one solid meal per day about dinner time. Other than that she is breastfed. She also had to take antibiotics for 7 days after she was born, to "prevent" an unknown (to me) infection. She did swallow meconium during labor, but so did one of my other children and they did not take this precaution. She began suffering from impetigo around two months old. I would appreciate any help you could offer. Thanks!

Replied by Dg
Atlanta, Ga
06/17/2010

The water in Atlanta can be really harsh. Try bathing the baby in filtered water then add the other suggestions.

Replied by Mary
Spring City, Pa
05/07/2011

Hi, I want to reach out to you even though you may, hopefully, have healed your baby's condition. The antibiotics made your baby's ph balance overy acidic and created a fertile ground for candida ( yeast) to grow which is what impetigo is, yeast.

Changing your baby's ph balance to high alkaline through diet and enviroment you will be able to make use of these natural remedies.


Turmeric  

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Posted by Debbi (Monsey, Ny) on 12/24/2014
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My 6 yr old daughter was diagnosed with staph impetigo. Dermatologist prescribed antibiotics, mupirocin cream and hibiclens wash.

I discovered this website and decided not to give the antibiotics. I washed her daily with the hibiclens wash and gave her turmeric once a day (opened up the capsule, mixed it with a little juice). I also made a paste with the turmeric and applied it on her wounds after washing it.

After literally two days I saw a tremendous difference; it's now 5 days after starting to do this and it is healing beautifully. Hope it continues this way.


Posted by Ang (uckland, New Zealand) on 02/01/2008
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Thank you for your wonderful website! I tried your tumeric cure on my 8 1/2 year old son, who just recently had school sores (impetigo), and then started to develop a boil (which is exactly what happened last time he had school sores at age 5 - he then went on to have boils for about 4 months). I gave him a tsp of tumeric in a chocolate milkshake 3 x per day for two days and the boil totally dried up and didn't get big or painful...and, no more boils have developed after 1 week! Awesome!!