Impetigo is a common and highly contagious bacterial skin infection that primarily affects children, although it can occur in people of all ages. It is characterized by the development of red sores on the face, hands, and other exposed areas of the body. Impetigo is usually caused by two types of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. In this post we will learn about 10 best natural treatment for impetigo. We will also learn about various preventive measures for impetigo.
10 Best Natural Treatment for Impetigo
- Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. It possesses antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it effective against the bacteria that cause impetigo. Tea tree oil can help reduce inflammation, promote healing, and prevent further infection. To use tea tree oil for impetigo, dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply it to the affected area two to three times daily.
- Manuka Honey: Manuka honey is a special type of honey derived from the nectar of the Manuka tree in New Zealand. It has potent antibacterial properties due to the presence of an active compound called methylglyoxal (MGO). Manuka honey can help inhibit the growth of bacteria, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing. Apply a thin layer of Manuka honey directly to the impetigo sores and cover with a clean dressing. Leave it on for a few hours before gently rinsing off and reapplying.
- Garlic: Garlic has natural antimicrobial properties that can help fight the bacteria causing impetigo. It contains compounds such as allicin, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Crush a few garlic cloves to release the active compounds, and then apply the garlic paste directly to the affected area. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Repeat this process several times a day.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil possesses antimicrobial properties and can help moisturize and soothe the skin. It contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial properties. Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the impetigo sores multiple times a day to keep the affected area moisturized and help fight the infection.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties and can help create an acidic environment that is unfavorable for bacterial growth. Dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and apply it to the affected area using a cotton ball or clean cloth. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Repeat this process a few times a day.
- Calendula: Calendula, also known as marigold, has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties. It can help reduce inflammation and promote the healing of impetigo sores. Apply a calendula cream or ointment directly to the affected area two to three times a day.
- Neem Oil: Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and has powerful antimicrobial properties. It can help combat the bacteria causing impetigo and soothe the skin. Mix a few drops of neem oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply it to the affected area two to three times daily.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is an herb known for its immune-stimulating properties. It can help strengthen the immune system, which may aid in fighting off the impetigo infection. Take echinacea supplements or drink echinacea tea according to the instructions provided.
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix turmeric powder with water or coconut oil to form a paste and apply it to the impetigo sores. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Repeat this process two to three times a day.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera has soothing and antimicrobial properties that can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Apply aloe vera gel directly to the impetigo sores and leave it on until it dries. Repeat this process several times a day.
It’s important to note that while natural remedies can be helpful, they should not replace conventional medical treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before using any natural remedies, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
Preventive Measures for Impetigo
Impetigo is highly contagious, but there are several preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of infection and prevent its spread. These measures include:
Good Hygiene Practices: Maintaining good hygiene is crucial in preventing impetigo. Teach and encourage the following hygiene practices:
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, and after coming into contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, clothing, bedding, and razors with infected individuals.
- Use disposable tissues or paper towels to cover impetigo sores or clean any discharge. Dispose of them properly after use.
Handwashing: Proper handwashing is an essential preventive measure for impetigo. Teach individuals to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, ensuring that all areas, including between fingers and under nails, are cleaned. Encourage regular handwashing, especially after coming into contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces.
Avoiding Contact with Infected Individuals: Avoid close contact with individuals who have active impetigo lesions. This includes refraining from touching their sores or sharing personal items with them. If you or someone in your household has impetigo, take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection to others.
Maintaining a Clean Environment: Keep the environment clean and hygienic to prevent the spread of impetigo-causing bacteria. Here are some tips:
- Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that come into contact with the skin, such as countertops, doorknobs, and toys.
- Launder clothing, towels, and bedding in hot water to kill bacteria. Avoid sharing these items until they have been washed and dried thoroughly.
- Cleanse and disinfect any objects that may have come into contact with impetigo sores, such as toys or athletic equipment.
Boosting the Immune System: A strong immune system can help protect against infections, including impetigo. Here are some ways to support a healthy immune system:
- Maintain a balanced and nutritious diet, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Ensure an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc, which are important for immune function.
- Get regular exercise to improve overall health and immune system function.
- Get sufficient sleep to allow the body to rest and repair.
- Manage stress levels through relaxation techniques, exercise, and engaging in activities you enjoy.
By following these preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of impetigo and minimize its spread. However, if you suspect impetigo or have been in contact with an infected individual, it’s important to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.
In conclusion, impetigo is a common bacterial skin infection that primarily affects children but can also occur in adults. It is important to understand the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options to effectively manage this condition. Conventional treatment for impetigo involves the use of topical or oral antibiotics prescribed by healthcare professionals.
In addition to conventional treatment, there are several natural remedies that can be used as alternative or complementary approaches. These include tea tree oil, manuka honey, garlic, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, calendula, neem oil, echinacea, turmeric, and aloe vera. These natural remedies have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties that may help in managing impetigo. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using these remedies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your specific situation.
Preventive measures play a crucial role in reducing the risk of impetigo and preventing its spread. Good hygiene practices, regular handwashing, avoiding contact with infected individuals, maintaining a clean environment, and boosting the immune system are essential preventive measures. By following these measures, you can minimize the chances of developing impetigo and protect yourself and others from infection.
Note that while natural remedies and preventive measures can be helpful, they should not replace medical advice or prescribed treatments. If you or someone you know has impetigo, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
Overall, with proper understanding, timely intervention, and adherence to preventive measures, impetigo can be effectively managed and its impact minimized.