Home Remedies for Impetigo

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Podtree Holistics (London, Ontario, Canada) on 12/29/2012
5 out of 5 stars

For impetigo 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.

Olive Oil
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)

Posted by Jessicai (Springfield, Mo) on 11/29/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I got caught up in a vicious 9 week battle with impetigo and am just now getting over it. It has finally started to recede after 2 rounds of antibiotics (bactrim and bactroban included), as well as several different bacteria fighting herbs, probiotics and topicals. Everything helped but nothing worked until I started taking grapefruit seed extract internally and topically. For months I have been undergoing laser hair removal treatments. The last round, the technician suggested the heat may kill the bacteria. I was skeptical but she had to hit some of the infected areas anyway and BOOM, within a couple days the infected areas she hit started to finally heal. The one tiny area under my lip that she didn't hit lingered on for an additional 6 weeks until I went back again. I asked her to hit it too. She did, and also mentioned that a lot of younger doctors are starting to recommend lasers like the ones they use for laser hair removal because the heat knocks out the bacterial infections in the skin, several skin layers deep. Anyway, it's been two days and the stubborn bit of it is barely visable. I know GFS extract has been helping a lot too and I will continue to take it for 10 full days just like I would an antibiotic.

Posted by Annie (London, Uk) on 10/04/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Silver Gel
Posted by Markell (Provo, Ut) on 09/25/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Kxcakes (Indianapolis, In) on 08/24/2012

I need to clarify something in my post about HEAT. Please understand: my Impetigo is CURED. The heat took care of it super fast - in about 6 days.

Posted by Kxcakes (Indianapolis, Indiana, Usa ) on 08/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars

My experience with Impetigo...

I'm a 44 year old woman. My first encounter with Impetigo was 8 or 9 years ago - it appeared on my legs and it seemed the epicenter of each patch was a tiny wound or injury. I didn't know what it was so I did some research and concluded incorrectly that it was a variety of Psoriasis. For some reason, my online searches didn't come up with Impetigo. Like everyone else, I tried everything I could think of to relieve the horrible itching and eventually noticed that flushing the patches with hot water with a hand-held showerhead offered a numbing effect lasted from several hours to a whole day. Also, it was obvious that the more I scratched, the larger the patches became so I learned to leave the areas alone and to bandage them so my clothes wouldn't aggravate the situation. After a week or two, with regular hot water flushing and just not spreading the patches, the skin healed.

Now for my second encounter with Impetigo. It started a week ago, again in response to a tiny injury. I researched it again and Impetigo jumped right out. Knew I had the right diagnosis this time. The various sites containing information clarified the sequence of events from a few years ago. I learned that the blister fluid is infectious, for example. I also learned that Impetigo is caused by bacteria and that I wasn't dealing with contact dermatitis or anything like that. The hot water flushing offered relief just like before but this time, I added a twist. I reasoned that if hot water helped, perhaps hot air would too. So after I shower, I use a hair dryer on the patches, as hot as I can stand it. Then, I bandage the areas as before.

I'm thrilled to report that the hair dryer has worked wonders. The patches are healing much more quickly. My theory as to why it works is that the heat kills the bacteria. After all, your body elevates its temperature to fight infection so it makes sense to me that topical heat might kill bacteria on or in the skin. The heat from the hair dryer has the same numbing effect so that the patches don't itch for at least half a day.

Tip: be very careful with the hot water and the hot hair. Hold it on the patches only until you just begin to feel a tiny bit burned. Any longer than that, and you will actually be burned. I flick the shower head and the hair dryer back and forth over the patches for a few moments to make sure they are fully heated.

Tip: be very careful as you dry off after a shower. Don't let the towel touch the infected areas. I dab those with a bit of toilet paper which I then flush. It might be easier to dry your body with a small towel which is more controllable than a large floppy bath towel.

As other posters have noted, it seems lotions and ointments only aggravate the skin and don't actually relieve any of the itching and pain. I just cover the areas securely and employ the heat treatment as necessary.

Black Walnut
Posted by Herbal (Cedar Rapids, Iowa Usa) on 08/12/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Grapefruit Seed Extract
Posted by Pigeongurl (Lowell, Mi) on 08/09/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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!

Over the Counter
Posted by Marlene (Morgan Hill, Ca) on 08/06/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I just bought Campho-Phenique Drying Gel for my imetigo, as suggested by another blogger. What a relief! Initially it burned a little but w/i minutes I had relief from the pain and itch and it does appear to be drying the lesions already. The mupirocin was buring and causing incessant itching! I've only had impetigo one other time, 4 yrs. Ago, and I suffered for almost 3 mos. I am also cleaning my lesion and the rest of my face with a chlorohexadine wash. Will keep you posted.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Kyle (Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada) on 07/10/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I'm 22 years old and have been getting impetigo for as long as I can remember. Tried lots of things to kill it in the past and so far tea tree oil works best but number one thing is don't scratch or it spreads big time and fast.

Over the Counter
Posted by David (Mcallen, Tx) on 05/29/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Hello everone, my name is David and I get impetigo break outs every since I can remeber being a kid. When I was younger I tried every type of option. I am 32 years old now and for me the simplest solution worked for me and which I still use today.

Go to your local drug store and get yourself some Campho-Phenique cold sore treatment with DRYING ACTION. It is important to get this exact one. Not the liquid one because we don't want to wet different areas. Its a thick gel type. What you do is get a q tip and dap only the effected area. The sooner the better. This dries quick and will crest kind of a scab over the blister. Let it sit and dap some more in a few hours. The first day of treating empetigo is very important. You do not want to break the skin of the sales because that's how it spreads, that why you do not use the liquid form, you will get horrible results. This gel neutralizes it and it is very important that you do not touch the soares for 24 hrs. You can gently dap more gel with a tooth tip as much as needed. One major mistake people make is that they take a shower, that is just feeding the problem. We want the sores to stay shut dry and never leak out. It is important for the sore to keeps its scab for as long as possible.

Day two you will see that soar looks to be tamed and is seems to be drying off, at the end of day 2 take a shower and the scam will easily fall off, the more time in the shower the scam slowly breaks down. It most like will bleed a little but this is the time to go for the kill. Get a fresh a tip and apply only on effected areas. It will most likely burn but its with the results. 1 hour later apply a little more and if their is no sting, you basically killed it..

Day 3 just leave a thin layer of medication one time and let the afternoon dry it out. You can follow that same procedure for day 4. That's it it will be dead and it will heal in time. If you're pro like me I catch them at a really early stage that you can't even tell. I catch them when they are still ingrown and by the time it surfaces 3 days later, it's already dead and healed itself in a short period. Things not to do, never lubricate these sores, never cover these sores and use a gel substance. When I was in high school I would cut the top of the sores with a razor blade, bleed it out and then apply rubbing alcohol on it, it stung but killed the damn things instantly. Campho Phenique is a more civilized major. Follow those rules and you'll be ok...

Grapefruit Seed Extract
Posted by Quiet (Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Usa) on 05/15/2012

@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.

Grapefruit Seed Extract
Posted by Melle (London, Uk) on 05/14/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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

Grapefruit Seed Extract
Posted by Teknut (Seattle, Wa) on 04/13/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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 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.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by J (Farmington, Nm, Usa) on 03/30/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Chema (San Diego, California) on 01/19/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I went and bought some Coconut Oil worked fantastic!

EC: For medicinal purposes, use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, the kind that smells like coconut.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Diana (Standish, Michigan) on 12/15/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I have to deal with occasional outbreaks of impetigo. 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.

Olive Oil and Garlic
Posted by Ivy (San Gabriel, Ca) on 09/29/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I got impetigo for about a week. I had no idea how itchy it was going to be. Researching online for alternative cures, I found that using virgin olive oil with freshley chopped garlic did the trick. I first used a pad of witch hazel to clean the area. Then I applied the olive oil and chopped garlic with a cotton swab on affected area. If it was really itchy, I would also add hydrocortisone cream only if needed. If it was a bit itchy, I would only pinch myself on nonaffected area to take the itch away. I hope that it will work for all you impetigo sufferers.

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