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.

Impetigo lesions (1)


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.


Refuel your body with immune supporting foods

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


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.


  1. Nicole says:

    I have been fighting impetigo since December. After trying natural products as well as prescribed creams and oral meds it has returned. I do take probiotics and have a very clean/ low sugar diet. I am 32 weeks pregnant, is it safe for me to try the probiotic yeast? I’m so worried that when I have my baby I won’t be able to kiss him! It is only on my lips. I have been (thankfully) keeping it under control from spreading but keeps returning.

    • brianagunn@hotmail.com says:

      Is it Sacchromyces Boulardii that you are asking about? If so, that is a safe and beneficial yeast in pregnancy. I’m not aware that it is directly beneficial against Impetigo, but it helps to prevent Candida overgrowth if you’ve taken antibiotics.

      • Kristine says:

        What about impetigo in the nose? Is there a way to treat it? I’m not sure if it’s impetigo really so I’ve just been using colloidal silver spray and also drinking acv in my tea

        • Briana Gunn- Naturopath says:

          Sounds like a reasonable approach. An ointment with golden seal or thuja can be applied with a Qtip.

  2. Kristene says:

    What you are describing sounds like cold sores or herpes and needs to be tested with an antiviral. Ask your doctor if this is a possibility.

  3. L rains says:

    Hi My 5yr old son has them and we have been managing them with tea tree and homeopathic sprays. He has taken a week off school so far and it looks like it might be another two before he can go back. I am so excited to try you methods my question is small tiny dots seem to keep popping up. Is a shower better then a bath. I almost feel like I need to bath him in the solution you have mentioned. Could that be something i trial… impetigo started on his leg the jumped to other leg and two little dots have appeared near his groin and bottom (those ones seem to be contained) his face is my main concern. They keep weeping and growing despite my tea tree efforts. I have only been doing my process for 6days now. As I said the leg which it first started seems to be a lot better and contained now to healing but his face is just getting worse. Should I bandage them or let air?
    Any information is well appreciated.

    • brianagunn@hotmail.com says:

      Thanks for your questions. I find air drying them to be best and you can definitely bathe him in hydrogen peroxide 3% mixture. Keep boosting his immune system all the while too with nutrients and herbs specifically to help him cope with Staph and Strep infections. These are often the berberine containing herbs.

  4. Kem Martin says:

    I am fifty six years old and have been battling impetigo for a few months now. It started out as a small sore on my inner arm and has spread terribly to other places on my upper body and now my shoulders. The dermatologist that I have been seeing and now have decided to leave has prescribed two topicals, prednisone twice, an oral antibiotic and nothing seems to work. I’ve tried tea tree oil, coconut oil, silver cream, Vaseline. I am now trying the hydrogen peroxide. I’m in constant discomfort. I consider myself in great shape and I rarely get sick. I do work in a special ed classroom and suspect I could have gotten it in there.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • brianagunn@hotmail.com says:

      Hi Kem, Sorry for my delay in repsonse. I’ve only just seen this. This is a bigger question than I can answer here properly for you, so I think you could make an appointment with a Naturopath to support your total immune system with Staph and Strep specific herbs. Best regards, Bri.

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  6. Christine says:

    Hi, thank you so much for sharing this information! We are doing our best to avoid antiobiotics and seek natural remedies. Our three year old daughter has extensive sores in her left armpit, down her left side, into the crease of her left leg/groin, and on both knees. The skin creases (her armpit and groin area seem to be the worst and taking the longest to heal. Do you have any additional suggestions for troublesome areas such as these?

    Her knee has a crater type sore on it with a small circular scab in the center and weeping around the outside. It does seem to be responding to the topical treatment of H2O2 a little bit as evidenced by parts of the scab falling off. I scared myself looking up impetigo online and saw complications such as ecthyma although I don’t know if that is what it is as I am not a doctor. My question is, is hydrogen peroxide effective at treating these types of sores as well?

    We see the hydrogen peroxide drying previous sores with new pink skin coming in underneath, and it seems to be killing the infection and slowing the spread of sores, although new sores have shown up since we started. We are on day 2.

    How long can it take for this to completely heal? Can one use too much hydrogen peroxide on a toddler’s skin? I know it is a strong oxidizer. We are diluting it to 1.5%. We are doing a lot for her internally as well with a whole food diet, raw honey, elderberry echinacea syrup, fermented cod liver oil, etc. Also just looking for some hope and encouragement as it has been very trying for us and our little one. We are praying and having faith that it will take its course and be cleared up with our continual efforts.

  7. Lisa says:

    I thought it’s always helpful to hear a success story . My son developed school sores through mosquito bites. I was absolutely not aware of this disease and didn’t treated it proper for the first 5 days. So it spread in the areas around around those bites.
    As soon as I realised what was happening and with help of a friend of mine that is a doctor. I started giving him a good probiotic , zinc, vitamin , c and echinacea orally and on his sores I used a hydro peroxide lotion and a natural one that had Manuka , calendula, Kawakawa , comfrey and horpito(we are from New Zealand that’s our healing plants)
    . With those creams I didn’t had the feeling it really helped though cause new blisters would come up.
    At the time of the sores we were staying with friends who have this pool that is kept clean with hydro peri oxide in stead of bleach and after I first didn’t allow him in it since I thought it would make it worse I realised it might actually help. So I allwoed him to go swimming 4 times a day. And yes I think that was the most helpful tool. The scabs all came off and rubbed him in coconut oil mixed with tee tea tree oil after wards . And voila instantly it all looked better and the next day it all looked so much less inflamed .
    And 4 days later it all seems to dry up and disappear. But ja he was in the pool 4 times a day everyday and I would put the oil on straight after everywhere.
    So from fighting and feeling so defeated cause it was so hard putting the creams just on the wounds. The whole thing turned into easy management . My son wasn’t fighting the massage he would get with the oil after the pool. I will still rub him in the oil for the next 2 weeks everyday I think to make sure that it won’t come back . And then maybe just every now and then. But keep on with this especially now in summer.
    Also I stopped using plasters when we tarted the pool to cover since my son reacted to them badly and that only caused more blisters.

    I assume one could also just do the bleach baths or make a hydro peroxide bath to copy this method. And just have a bath twice a day.

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