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Impetigo - What treatments work for impetigo?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

The usual treatment for impetigo is an antibiotic cream or ointment. Or your doctor may prescribe antibiotic tablets instead.

Key points about treating impetigo

  • Antibiotic creams are likely to work for most people.

  • Antibiotic creams work at least as well as antibiotic tablets. But some people need to take tablets if they have a lot of impetigo.

  • If your cream or tablets haven’t worked, it may be because the type of bacteria causing the infection has become resistant to the antibiotic. You may need to try another type of treatment.

As well as having treatment, it’s important to try to stop impetigo from spreading between people. To find out more, see Stopping impetigo from spreading.

We've looked at the best research and given a rating for each treatment according to how well it works.

Treatments for impetigo

Treatments that are likely to work Treatments that need further study



These medicines are used to help your immune system fight infection. There are a number of different types of antibiotics that work in different ways to get rid of bacteria, parasites, and other infectious agents. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.


Bacteria are tiny organisms. There are lots of different types. Some are harmful and can cause disease. But some bacteria live in your body without causing any harm.

For more terms related to Impetigo


For references related to Impetigo click here.
Last Updated: February 24, 2011
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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