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10 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Impetigo + Causes And Symptoms

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10 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Impetigo + Causes And Symptoms Hyderabd040-395603080 May 15, 2019

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that accounts for around 10% of skin complaints in the pediatric population (1). As it is a highly contagious infection, impetigo can quickly spread from one person to another, especially in children.

Did you find small angry-looking rashes all over your little one’s torso? Or do you have red sores around your nose and mouth? Irrespective of what may have triggered this stubborn infection, you need to start looking for treatment options right away before the sores leave behind scars. In this post, we will discuss the best home remedies that can help in soothing impetigo sores and speed up healing. Read on.

What Is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a skin infection that is highly contagious and very common. It is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Impetigo usually affects infants and children and occurs in the form of red sores. These sores can burst and form honey-colored crusts.

The classic signs and symptoms associated with impetigo are discussed below.

Signs And Symptoms

The common symptoms of impetigo are red sores that rupture, ooze, and finally dry to form a yellowish-brown crust. The size of these sores may range from a dime to a quarter. Such sores usually appear on the face, around the nose and mouth, and on the hands and feet of the infected person.

Bullous impetigo is a lesser known form of impetigo. It is characterized by larger blisters and occurs on the trunk of the affected child.

Ecthyma is another severe type of impetigo, which penetrates deeper into the skin. It causes painful pus- or fluid-filled sores, which develop into deeper ulcers. These sores are much darker and thicker than ordinary impetigo.

Let us now look at the leading triggers of this contagious infection.

What Causes Impetigo?

Impetigo is a bacterial infection triggered by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) or Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes). S. aureus is present on the skin while S. pyogenes is present in the mouth flora. These bacteria cause infections when there is a cut or wound.

The infection usually begins in two ways:

  • Primary Impetigo – The bacteria initiate an infection on healthy skin without an entry site.
  • Secondary Impetigo – The bacteria invade the skin due to another skin condition that has disrupted the skin’s barrier (e.g., scabies or eczema).

Adults usually develop impetigo due to a skin injury from another skin condition like dermatitis, which causes inflammation of the skin.

Children, on the other hand, are infected following a cut, scrape, or insect bite. They can also be infected without any damage to the skin when they are exposed to the infection directly or indirectly.

Factors that can increase the risk of developing impetigo are discussed right below.

Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase your risk of developing impetigo. They are:

  • Age – It is common in children aged between 2 and 5.
  • Crowded Environment – Impetigo can easily be contracted in crowded settings like child care or school.
  • Warm and humid weather
  • Sports, such as football or wrestling, which may involve direct contact with an infected person or utensil
  • Injured skin
  • Close dealing with an infected person
  • Sharing utensils with an infected person

Although impetigo is highly contagious, it can be cleared rather easily. Your doctor may prescribe topical and/or oral antibiotics to deal with the infection.

However, if you are looking for natural alternatives to manage impetigo and speed up recovery, we have your back. Discussed below are the best home remedies that can help in the treatment of this skin infection.

10 Natural Remedies To Treat Impetigo

1. Essential Oils

(i) Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton pads or balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three to four drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water.
  2. Mix well and dip a cotton ball into the solution.
  3. Gently swipe the infected area with the soaked cotton.
  4. Discard the used cotton.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil is antibacterial and can help in fighting staphylococci infections. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help to alleviate itching and heal the sores (2).

(ii) Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil Pinit

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You Will Ne ed
  • 3-4 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three to four drops of oregano oil to a cup of water.
  2. Mix well and soak a cotton ball in it.
  3. Apply the solution gently to the affected skin.
  4. Discard the used cotton.
  5. Leave it on until it dries.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

The antibacterial activities of oregano oil can weaken the biofilm formation of Staphylococcus bacteria, thereby helping in the treatment of impetigo (3).

Caution: Do not use essential oils topically on children as it may lead to skin irritations like dermatitis.

2. Garlic

Garlic Pinit

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You Will Need

2-3 sliced garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Peel the garlic cloves.
  2. Chop the cloves into small pieces and place them on the sores.
  3. Take them off after 20-30 minutes and rinse with water.
  4. You can also add garlic to your diet for additional health benefits.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Garlic has antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory properties (4). These properties can help in treating impetigo and accelerating recovery.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil
  • Cotton swabs
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil in a small bowl.
  2. Dip a cotton swab in it and apply it to the affected skin.
  3. Discard the used swab.
  4. Leave the oil on for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Rinse it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil possesses both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help in reducing the inflammation and pain in the affected areas (6).

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar to a cup of water.
  2. Mix well and dip a cotton ball in the solution.
  3. Gently apply the mixture to the affected skin.
  4. Discard the used cotton.
  5. Leave the ACV on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off.
  6. Additionally, you can also mix a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water and drink it daily.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar possesses antibacterial potential against S. aureus. It can help reduce the severity of impetigo symptoms when applied topically and speeds up the healing of the infection when consumed (7).

Caution: Do not give unpasteurized ACV to children as it may lead to food poisoning.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix one to two teaspoons of turmeric powder with water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the turmeric paste to the affected skin.
  3. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes or until the mixture dries.
  4. Rinse the paste off your skin using lukewarm water.
  5. Discard the remaining mixture.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

Curcumin is the main component of turmeric. The antibacterial nature of curcumin is effective against S. aureus (8). The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin have been used to treat many skin disorders (9). Hence, turmeric may be beneficial in treating impetigo and its symptoms.

6. Grapefruit Seed Extract

 Grapefruit Seed Extract Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of grapefruit seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Cotton swabs
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two to three drops of grapefruit seed extract to two tablespoons of water.
  2. Mix well and dip a cotton swab in it.
  3. Apply the mixture to the affected skin.
  4. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off with water.
  5. Discard the used swabs.
  6. You can also take grapefruit seed extract supplements after consulting your doctor.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2-3 times daily for faster results.

Why This Works

Grapefruit seed extract is a powerful antibacterial agent that is effective against S. aureus – one of the two bacteria known to cause impetigo (10). It may thus be effective in treating the infection as well as its symptoms.

Caution: Grapefruit seed supplement should not be taken internally by children.

7. Goldenseal

Goldenseal Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of goldenseal powder
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix one to two teaspoons of goldenseal powder with water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the goldenseal paste to the affected skin.
  3. Leave it on until it dries completely.
  4. Rinse it off using water.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with the infected skin.
  6. You can also take goldenseal supplements after consulting your doctor.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

Goldenseal exhibits potent antibacterial activity against S. aureus (11). Hence, it may also be used to speed up the healing of impetigo and its symptoms.

8. Honey

Honey Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey
  • Cotton swabs
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a little raw honey on a cotton swab.
  2. Apply it directly to the impetigo sores.
  3. Discard the swab.
  4. Allow the honey to sit on your skin for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Honey is antibacterial and can help treat S. aureus infection on wounds (12). This suggests that honey may help in the treatment of impetigo symptoms.

9. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Freshly extracted aloe gel
  • Cotton swabs
What You Have To Do
  1. Extract the gel from an aloe leaf and blend it well with a fork.
  2. Take a little aloe gel on a cotton swab.
  3. Apply it to the infected skin.
  4. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off.
  5. Discard the used swabs.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2-3 times daily.

Why This Works

The wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera could help in quickening the healing of impetigo sores (13), (14).

10. Neem

Neem Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A handful of neem leaves
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a handful of neem leaves and wash them thoroughly.
  2. Blend the leaves with some water to form a thick paste.
  3. Apply the paste to the infected skin.
  4. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes or until it dries completely.
  5. Rinse it off your skin.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Neem can help in the inhibition of S. aureus biofilm formation (15). Hence, it can be an excellent remedy to get rid of the infectious impetigo sores.

These remedies can do a great job in speeding up recovery from impetigo. However, some people may have recurring bouts of the infection. Hence, you need to take great care and make a few lifestyle changes to prevent this from happening. The following are some tips that can help prevent the recurrence of impetigo.

How To Prevent Impetigo

  • Shower daily.
  • Wash the infected skin daily using a mild cleanser and water.
  • Do not touch the infected sores.
  • Wash the clothing and other utensils of an infected person separately.
  • Use gloves while applying a topical antibiotic.
  • Keep skin injuries clean and covered.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Keep your nails short.
  • Keep the patient isolated until recovery.

These tips can help in preventing the recurrence of the infection. It can also prevent healthy individuals from developing impetigo.

While impetigo is highly contagious, it is not of much concern as its symptoms will begin subsiding in a couple of weeks. But treatment is necessary to avoid further complications from the infection. For a speedy recovery from impetigo, combine the above tips and remedies with medical treatment.

We hope this post addressed all your queries regarding impetigo. For any more doubts, feel free to get in touch with us through the comments box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is there a cure for impetigo?

An impetigo infection can be cured using topical/oral antibiotics. The remedies mentioned above can also help in the treatment.

Will neosporin help impetigo?

Neosporin is a non-prescription topical antibiotic that is generally not effective against impetigo.

Is impetigo contagious?

Yes, impetigo is extremely contagious and can spread easily via contact with infected skin or utensils.

What is the difference between infantigo and impetigo?

There is no difference between infantigo or impetigo. They are different terms used for the same infection. Impetigo is often misheard/mispronounced as infantigo.

How does impetigo spread?

As it is a contagious infection, impetigo can easily spread by skin-to-skin contact or contact with infected utensils.

When to seek medical help for impetigo?

You may seek medical help for impetigo if you notice any of its symptoms or develop other symptoms like fever. You should also see a doctor if the skin around the impetigo sore becomes swollen, red, tender, or painful to touch.

References

    1. Impetigo” StatPearls, US National Library Of Medicine.
    2. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties” Clinical Microbiology Reviews, US National Library Of Medicine.
    3. Effects of oregano, carvacrol and thymol on Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms.” Journal of Medical Microbiology, US National Library Of Medicine.
    4. Antibacterial activity of garlic extract on streptomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli solely and in synergism with streptomycin” Journal Of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, US National Library Of Medicine.
    5. Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds” Journal Of Immunology, US National Library Of Medicine.
    6. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil.” Pharmaceutical Biology, US National Library Of Medicine.
    7. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression” Scientific Reports, US National Library Of Medicine.
    8. Antibacterial Action of Curcumin against Staphylococcus aureus: A Brief Review” Journal Of Tropical Medicine, US National Library Of Medicine.
    9. Evidence of curcumin and curcumin analogue effects in skin diseases: A narrative review.” Journal of Cellular Physiology, US National Library Of Medicine.
    10. Bactericidal effect of grape seed extract on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).” Journal of Toxicological Sciences, US National Library Of Medicine.
    11. Quorum Quenching and Antimicrobial Activity of Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)” Planta medica, US National Library Of Medicine.
    12. Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureus from infected wounds.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, US National Library Of Medicine.
    13. Topical Application of Aloe vera Accelerated Wound Healing, Modeling, and Remodeling: An Experimental Study.” Annals of Plastic Surgery. US National Library Of Medicine.
    14. Antiinflammatory activity of extracts from Aloe vera gel.” Journal Of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library Of Medicine.
    15. Effect of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) leaf extract on resistant Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and Schistosoma mansoni worms.” Journal Of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library Of Medicine.