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Impetigo

General characteristics

General characteristics

Impetigo is a skin condition whereby the top layers of the skin become infected with bacterial strains of either staphylococcus or streptococcus. It is possible to spread the condition to others whom you come into close contact with.  It is quite common in children and in those who play very close contact sports.

Impetigo is classified as either 'bulbous' or 'non-bulbous' (thought to be caused by toxins produced by the bacteria) but causation, progression and outcome are very similar. The condition is characterised by fluid or pus filled blisters on the skin which quickly burst, exposing reddened and sore skin beneath. In a few days a crusty surface may form over the blister sites which is often itchy and can spread to cover larger areas of skin. Common sites are the face (often around the mouth and nose), knees and hands, though lesions may appear anywhere on the body in non-bulbous impetigo. Common sites for bulbous impetigo include moist areas of skin such as the knee and neck creases. Impetigo usually lasts a few weeks but can last months. Frequent outbreaks are unfortunately common in some unlucky individuals. Conventional treatment usually involves topical antibiotics.

Very occasionally, further more serious complications such as kidney or heart inflammation can follow so it is important to watch your body carefully for any changes or signs of other illness following impetigo infection.

Healing objectives are to improve nutrition, improve elimination, raise the vitality of the body, fight the infection and provide symptomatic relief where needed.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Include plenty of raw garlic in your daily diet, either add to food after cooking or make into a vinaigrette style dressing for salads. All members of the allium family such as onions, chives and leeks are also helpful.

Impetigo seems to have a link with candida overgrowth so limit your intake of simple sugars and refined carbohydrates. Avoid processed and junk foods generaly to avoid burdening the cleansing channelsof the body.

Keep the bowels moving by eating plenty of fibre in the form of raw vegetables and dark leafy greens in a daily salad.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Try taking a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a little water 3 times daily. Turmeric is an has anti-inflammatory and skin clearing qualities amongst many others. You can also mix it with some manuka honey to form a paste and apply it to the affected areas.

So called 'blood cleansing' herbs can help to clear impetigo. A useful formula could contain the tinctures of yellow dock, blue flag, dandelion root, burdock root, sarsaparilla and echinacea for example. Use equal parts of the tinctures and take a teaspoonful in water 3 times daily.

Black walnut husks are very effective at relieving impetigo. Add the tincture to some carrier such as pure coconut oil and apply to the skin regularly.

Try drinking a herbal tea consisting of red clover flowers, nettle, chickweed, marigold flowers, olive leaf and heartsease. Use equal parts of all, or any 4 of the herbs and make a cup using a heaped teaspoon of the mix. Drink 3 cups daily.

An extract of gentian root, 'gentian violet' can be useful for impetigo.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Cold pressed coconut oil applied to the skin has given relief and cleared impetigo very quickly for some people.
Take a few drops of grapefruit seed extract several times daily.
Many essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, thyme and oregano are antibacterial and a few drops of each can be added to half a pint of water to wash the affected skin or add to some manuka honey and applied to the affected areas..

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