Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection, common among children, which often causes minor outbreaks in schools and kindergartens. The spots, red with a yellow crust, usually affect the face, hands and legs, but can spread over the rest of the body. The sores may last for weeks.
Although impetigo is an external condition, in Chinese Medicine theory the real cause is toxins caused by heat and damp in the body, especially in a weak liver and kidneys. Chinese Medicine treatment can be external and internal. If the impetigo is mild, herbs to wash the skin will be prescribed, or a herbal cream will be supplied.
If the problem is severe, a Chinese Medicine practitioner will prescribe Chinese golden thread, gardenia fruit, skullcap or the bark of the mulberry tree. Hygiene is very important, and medical treatment should be started immediately because impetigo is highly infectious. Keep the skin and hands well washed and scrupulously clean. Other people in the family, or other children who come into contact with the disease, can use tea made from corktree bark to wash their hands, as it sterilizes the skin and stops the infection from spreading.
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