Can you make the diagnosis?

Amy picks up her 5-year-old child at day care, and notes a red sore near the side of his mouth.

The sore is crusted and scabbed over, and her child keeps rubbing it.


Her child otherwise appears well, doesn’t seem to have a fever, and is asking for dinner.

What is this child’s diagnosis?

  1.  Chickenpox
  2. Impetigo
  3. Cold sore
  4. Measles



If you picked 2. Impetigo, you are correct!

Impetigo is a rash caused by Staph or Strep bacteria.  Risk factors include day care, sports participation, and breaks in the skin.  It is spread by contact.

Impetigo causes a rash that is reddish with yellow crusting on the face, arms, or legs.  It can be painful or itchy.

Treatment is with topical cream such as Mupirocin ointment

Chickenpox is a rash that affects the body and face, and is usually a widespread rash associated with a fever.    Cold sores are usually a group of blisters and often associated with a fever.  Measles is a flat rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body, and is associated with fever cough runny, nose, and inflamed eyes.

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