Interventions for impetigo

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There is good evidence that topical mupirocin and topical fusidic acid are equally, or more, effective than oral treatment. Due to the lack of studies in people with extensive impetigo, it is unclear if oral antibiotics are superior to topical antibiotics in this group. Fusidic acid and mupirocin are of similar efficacy. Penicillin was not as effective as most other antibiotics. There is a lack of evidence to support disinfection measures to manage impetigo.

Impetigo is a common superficial bacterial skin infection that is contagious and usually occurs in young children. Impetigo causes blister-like sores, which can fill with pus and form scabs; scratching can spread the infection. There is no generally agreed standard therapy, and guidelines for treatment differ widely. Treatment options include many different oral and topical antibiotics as well as disinfectants. This review assesses the effects of treatments for impetigo, including non-pharmacological interventions and ‘waiting for natural resolution’. Penicillin is not as effective as most other antibiotics for impetigo. Topical mupirocin and topical fusidic acid are equally, or more, effective than oral treatment. Due to the lack of studies in people with extensive impetigo, it is unclear if oral antibiotics are superior to topical antibiotics. Fusidic acid, mupirocin and retapamulin are of similar efficacy; other topical treatments seem less effective. There is little evidence to support disinfection measures to manage impetigo.

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