Interventerions for impetigo
There is good evidence that the topical antibiotics mupirocin and fusidic acid are equal to, or possibly more effective than, oral treatment for people with limited disease. Fusidic acid, mupirocin, and retapamulin are probably equally effective.
Impetigo is a common, superficial bacterial skin infection, most frequently encountered in children. There is no generally agreed standard therapy, and guidelines for treatment differ widely. This review evaluates the effects of treatments for impetigo, including non-pharmacological interventions and ‘waiting for natural resolution’. Researchers identified 68 randomised controlled trials comparing various treatments for impetigo. Altogether, these studies evaluated 26 oral treatments and 24 topical treatments, including placebo, and results were described for 5708 participants. Overall, topical antibiotics showed better cure rates than topical placebo. As well, topical mupirocin was superior to the oral antibiotic, oral erythromycin. We found that the oral antibiotic, oral penicillin, is not effective for impetigo, while other oral antibiotics (e.g. erythromycin and cloxacillin) can help. It is unclear if oral antibiotics are superior to topical antibiotics for people with extensive impetigo.