Impetigo is a highly infectious skin infection caused by the bacteria staphylococcus aureus. Bacteria grow on non-living hosts such as door knobs and countertops (as opposed to a virus that requires a living host such as people). It usually starts as a red area, which can be painful and itchy. After a day or so, the infected area may become crusty with a characteristic golden color. If not treated, the infection becomes more widespread.
Impetigo easily spreads not only from person to person, but the infection can be spread from one area of skin to another on the same person. Wash hands thoroughly after treating the lesion and dispose of used dressings. Wash all clothing, sheets, towels, wash cloths in hot water. Adding essential oils to the wash may help prevent spreading of the infection.
Treatment with essential oils is very effective because bacteria cannot form a resistance an essential oil like it can to an antibiotic. Two oils that are typically used are TEA TREE (Melaleuca Atlernifolia) and LAVENDER (Lavendula Angustifolia) oils. Both of these oils are strong antiseptic oils, they are also non-toxic and non-irritant as well. Tea Tree dissolves pus, leaving infected wounds clean. They can be applied locally to the infected area. Lavender is known for it’s skin healing properties, so not only will it fight the bacteria infection, but it boosts the healing of the wound.
TAMANU oil (Calophyllum Tacamahaca) is a cold-pressed oil from Tahiti that is also very effective for all kinds of skin infections. If it is desirable to dilute the essential oils used, Tamanu oil is an excellent choice.
A nutritionist says that OREGANO will kill it fast. She said, “It stings, but it wipes it out. With all natural treatments, you need to be aggressive and consistent.”
The following isfrom Valerie Worwood's The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Sores do not just go away and should be treated as soon as they are noticed. Essential oils are very effective in the treatment of impetigo. It is important to get all the infected pus out of the sore. To clean it out, prepare a small bowl of cooled, boiled water (about 4 ounces) and add 10 drops LAVENDER. Using a clean cotton wool, wash the sores out thoroughly, and then dispose of the cotton immediately and wash hands to prevent spreading the infection.
Prepare equal amounts of TAGETES and MYRRH essential oils. Cut a piece of clean cotton in a rectangle large enough to cover the area of the sore twice. Soak the cotton in water, and then put 2 drops of the Tagetes/Myrrh blend in the center. Fold over the two ends of the cotton so that the essential oil will not be directly on the sore. Bandage the cotton to the body. Leave the cotton there for an hour and then remove it so that the sore can be exposed to the air. If the sores do not clear, repeat the treatment until they do. Dispose of the bandage materials immediately and wash hands thoroughly to prevent spreading the infection.
The following from Valerie Worwood's Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child
Tea-Dab [Hopewell Essential Oils: Impetigo Tea-Dab]
15 drops Ravensara
10 drops Thyme Linalool
15 drops Tea Tree
10 drops Manuka
2 oz pure water
After bathing, dab over the area with the above solution. Dispose of the cotton used for application.
Add the same essential oils above to ¼ ounce Sesame oil and blend well. Between bathing, apply a small amount on affected areas only. [Linda's comment: I'd use Tamanu oil instead of the sesame. Tamanu is healing, antineuralgic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and has antibiotic properties.]
Other oils that are noted as being effective:
TOP GUN Blend - this contains the top essential oils noted for fighting bacteria infections. Consider rubbing on the bottoms of feet (dilute if for an infant).
PLAGUE DEFENSE - This blend of oils was tested at Weber State University and found to dramatically inhibit the growth of many types of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus (p. 253 Essential Oils Desk Reference), making this one a good choice for applying to the bottoms of feet as well.
Other treatments mentioned:
Eat a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables
Take Zinc, Vitamin C and A supplements daily
Take an herbal blood purifying tablet or syrup
1. Linda made the "TEA DAB" for us because our baby had impetigo on his diaper area. This cleared it up very quickly, and it was harmless to my baby. - A.T.
2. I got aggressive with the IMPETIGO TEA DAB blend and applied it undiluted to the infected wounds on my daugher's hands, but I diluted with a carrier oil when I appllied it to the spot next to her lips. This stuff is amazing! She cleared right up.
3. I just wanted to share my excitement.......my oldest somehow got impetigo and we treated it with TEA TREE, LAVENDER and WARRIOR, diluted with coconut oil. it was two days of intense oil on the face with a q tip. it has taken a week but I am so excited. - Lindsay