There are a variety of natural ways to relieve the itching and inflammation caused by impetigo, but you should consult your doctor before beginning any type of treatment. If you have a severe case of impetigo, antibiotics may be necessary.
Impetigo causes skin irritation, so using extracts with anti-inflammatory properties, such as tea tree oil and echinacea, may help reduce your discomfort. Tea tree oil is a versatile disinfectant that fights the microbes on your skin when a few drops are added to your bath water [source: Sorgen]. Dabbing echinacea onto affected areas can also help fight infection.
Vitamins are also beneficial in treating impetigo. Mixing calendula oil and topical vitamin E and applying them to affected areas will help fight infection, and the vitamin E will also prevent scarring [source: Encyclopedia of Natural Healing]. You can even fight the itch from the inside out by consuming foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and flaxseed. Vitamin A can help skin tissue heal, and taking vitamin C and zinc can boost your immune system and help fight infection.
If you're itching for more information about impetigo, check out the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Disease." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/Groupastreptococcal_g.htm
- Cronan, Kate M., MD. "Impetigo." KidsHealth. 2008. (Accessed 7/28/09)http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/impetigo.html#
- eMedicineHealth. "Impetigo." (Accessed 7/28/09)http://www.emedicinehealth.com/impetigo/article_em.htm
- Enclyclopedia of Natural Healing. "Impetigo." (Accessed 7/28/09)http://www.bodyhealing.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=195&Itemid=28
- The Mayo Clinic. "Impetigo." (Accessed 7/28/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/impetigo/DS00464
- Medline Plus. "Impetigo." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/impetigo.html
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Impetigo." (Accessed 7/28/09)http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/impetigo/
- Rashid, Rashid M., MD, PhD and Andrew C. Miller MD. "Impetigo." eMedicine. June 12, 2009. (Accessed 7/31/2009) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/783562-overview
- Reuters. "Doctors Test Tea Tree Oil Body Wash on MSRA." January 2, 2009. (Accessed 7/31/2009) http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE5013YB20090102
- Sorgen, Carol. "Tea Tree Oil Treats Skin Problems." MedcineNet.com. February 10, 2003. (Accessed 7/31/2009) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51985
- TeensHealth. "Impetigo." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://kidshealth.org/teen/infections/skin_rashes/impetigo.html
- TeensHealth. "Staph Infections." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://kidshealth.org/teen/infections/bacterial_viral/staph.html
- WebMD. "Impetigo." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/impetigo-overview?page=2