1y4m: Managing Impetigo

Don’t ask. It’s grim. Read up about it here. All you need to know it’s a bacterial infection on the skin and apparently kids get it a lot. I remember a dear friend of mine, you know who you are, complaining she had impetigo on her face and that her leg was about to fall off (not literally). She took antibiotics for it and that was it – but every spot was impetigo! It was amusing. Now my son has actually had it, i’m not so sure her ‘spot’ was, but what do I know. Anyway, the 1st time he got it, it looked like his finger had been dipped in boiling oil, the tip of his finger was a blister like he’d burned himself. By the time he got it on his 2nd finger and the 1st finger nail looked like it was about to fall off, hubby took him to the Drs. It was impetigo and he needed antibiotics. Now, I’m not hugely precious but I seriously consider when I need to take antibiotics, let alone if I need to give them to a baby. But tbh his fingers were very bad, it was all getting worse and I really didn’t want him losing a nail over this. So, he took antibiotics.

He didn’t get on well with the antibiotics. 4 times in 24 hours, we tried to space it out during his waking hours, which, when I’ve done this myself, left me with a very sore tummy, as I’m sure he would have had. He did not enjoy taking it, he puked. He really refused and struggled and in the end we used all manner of bribes. At this same time he also managed to get some diarrhoea and vomiting. Brilliant timing. The down side was he wasn’t really eating. I remember I took his top off to get him changed and I could see his little ribs and his stomach was flat. I felt so sad. All I could think of was to make sure he was well hydrated (even if it meant giving him squash) and to feed him anything higher calorie so, I resorted to biscuits. Hubby made me laugh, he said ‘look he’s feeling fine if he’s eating biscuits!’ I said people will eat biscuits no matter how they’re feeling. We slowly fed him (and the rest of the family) up on Digestives and Hobnobs.

Anyway after a week of antibiotics he seemed fine, but it would seem he’d given it to his nanna. During this time, AJ had also given myself and hubby the dreaded D&V, so we handed him back to the grandparents for one day and… I think he may have got reinfected. Oh yes. He had a massive welt on his back that he started scratching red raw. I was just a bit lost tbh. He’d had teh antibiotics – wasn’t this all supposed to have gone away? I really couldn’t put him through it all again. He hated it and I couldn’t bring myself to wipe his little immune system out again. Interesting fact, did you know that Impetigo can go away on its own after a few weeks without treatment? Well, after reading that I decided to:

  • Hibiscrub him (always read the instructions!) to sterilise him, the open sore and to make sure it did’t spread everywhere else
  • First few days Lolo didn’t share a bath with him although I think her 3 year old immune system was doing well at rebuffing the infection
  • Constantly kept washing our hands after contact especially with the wound
  • Filled him up with pro-biotic drinks and little vitamins
  • Applied some pretty wicked, second skin, Hydrocolloid dressings which stopped further wear if he scratched and promoted healing – it stayed on for about a week!
  • Dressed him in baby vests so he couldn’t actually get to the sore

After the plaster came away we left it to the air and the sore is almost gone! No antibiotics, huzzah! It would seem it IS possible to get rid of impetigo without antibiotics!

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