There is a lot of fear about school sores and their virulence and many people believe that antibiotics are the only course of treatment. That isn’t my experience.
Before I get into the treatments that I’ve seen work in clinic and at home, I think it’s important to understand what school sores are.
Bullous (blistering) or non-bullous (not blistering) impetigo is the medical term for school sores, which is a common childhood skin infection. The medical model attributes the cause to either staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria. Both of which are very common and often present in a healthy person without causing adverse symptoms. Like all pathogens, I only see them causing trouble if the immune system is weak, when defences are down, due to malnutrition, medication, stress, anger, lack of sleep etc. If conditions in the body allow the proliferation of one of these organisms on the skin, the result can be school sores.
They present as red weepy sores, which start out looking like fluid filled blisters, then progress into red scabs coated with the characteristic yellow crusts. Initially, they look quite similar to cold sores. They may be painful and/or itchy, they might not. They often recur if the immune system isn’t strengthened as part of the treatment plan. They are believed to be highly contagious, although I haven’t seen that in clinic, at our large playgroup, or in our family. (Perhaps we have been afflicted with the bullous form which is less contagious than the non-bullous forms?) What I have seen is that siblings and caregivers who haven’t previously experienced them often don’t contract them despite sharing close quarters.
After trialling loads of different things including: colloidal silver, turmeric and coconut oil paste, calendula cream, topical iodine antiseptic, golden seal ointment, tea tree oil, homeopathics including; quentakehl, notakehl, sulphur, hepar sulph, mercurius and ant crud in various potencies, I’ve found the best treatment for school sores is…
It’s super cheap ($4.50), available from pharmacies and some supermarkets or general stores and it’s easy to use.
For adults and older kids, 3% solution applied directly to the sore 5 x daily works a treat. It stings for a while and be warned that it bubbles in the presence of bacteria. It starts drying the lesions up, usually within the first day. I also found cleansing the surrounding skin with some hydrogen peroxide useful to prevent spreading- be careful not to contaminate unblemished skin with the yellow pus, so use a few different cotton buds/wipes and throwing them out after one wipe is important.
For babies and young children, simply dilute the 3% hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and apply that 1.5% dilution to the sores as many times a day as they’ll let you. For extra wriggly babies, using a small spray bottle or glass dropper to apply it without actually having to wipe at them is a useful trick too. Again, it’ll sting a bit, but the milder dilution results in a lesser sting which seems to pass in under 10 seconds judging by their reactions.
After a few days, as the infection clears, the bubbling will reduce on application, which is a clue that you can reduce your applications of hydrogen peroxide. Baby R’s lesions were reduced to red healing skin within 4 days of the initition of hydrogen peroxide applications. He didn’t have any further lesions appear after the 2nd day and his whole outbreak lasted 9 days from the first bullae which we ignored for a day or 2 thinking it was a bite or something harmless, to resolution of the problem leaving pink new skin similar to what you see under any scab.
***Edited to add 15/5/2016
To super boost the healing:
The addition of topical Iodine ointment seems to speed the healing even further. Alternate an application of Iodine (In Australia Betadeine is widely available and effective) with the hydrogen peroxide. Just switch them up and apply a different one each hour.
After resolution of the active infection, it is very important to build the immune system, which speeds healing and prevents recurrence. Supplement with immune supporting herbs, such as Fusion’s Astra 8 blend, plus vitamins A, D. E and C as well as Zinc and Probiotics. Also, focussing on a diet high in leafy green veg, raw garlic, ginger, fermented foods, berries and home-cooked wholefoods that are low in grains and sugars Is very helpful too.
One of my clients and dear friends found that the combination of an intuitive healing session with my mentor as well as using the hydrogen peroxide was needed to fully repair her son during his school sore experience. It’s always worth treating the mind/body/soul as a whole when tackling any health issue.
**There are loads of alarming images of impetigo gone totally wild to be found on the internet. If the above suggestions aren’t managing the condition adequately, you will need to weigh the benefits against the risks of using antibiotics with your GP. During antibiotic use, consider supplementing with a probiotic yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii and after the course finishes, I’d strongly urge you recolonise with good bacteria and fortify your immune system with the above herbs, nutrients etc to prevent further recurrence.