DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Impetigo (im-puh-TIE-go) is a highly contagious skin infection that mainly affects infants and children. Impetigo usually appears as red sores on the face, especially around a child's nose and mouth. The sores burst and develop honey-colored crusts.
Impetigo may clear on its own in two to three weeks, but antibiotics can shorten the course of the disease and help prevent the spread to others.
You may need to keep your child home from school or day care until he or she is no longer contagious, which is usually 24 to 48 hours after you begin antibiotic treatment. Without antibiotics, impetigo is contagious until the sores go away.
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