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Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that most commonly strikes babies and children under age 5, though adults may also contract it. It is typically caused when strep or staph enters damaged skin through a wound or insect bite, but can also occur in normal skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, though impetigo often heals on its own within two weeks, and is rarely serious, treatment can speed the healing of the sores, improve the skin's appearance and limit the spread of the infection.
Related articles: Staph Infection Treatment, Well Baby Doctor Visit, Health Insurance
- Patients seeking medical attention for impetigo would start with an office visit to a primary care physician, which is typically covered by health insurance. For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a copay of $10-$50 or more, or coinsurance of 10%-50% or more. Impetigo treatment typically is covered by health insurance. For patients without health insurance, an office visit typically costs $50-$200 or more.
- For minor infections that haven't spread, keeping the skin clean and using over-the-counter aids, such as antibiotic ointment and nonstick dressing, may be enough to promote healing. These OTC products typically cost $5-$25. For example, Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic Ointment costs $6 at Drugstore.com, while Johnson & Johnson Soothing Non-Stick Dressing costs $7.
- According to the American Academy of Family Physicians doctors commonly prescribe the topical prescription antibiotic ointment Mupirocin (Bactroban), which costs $62, or in more extensive cases, an oral antibiotic, which costs $5-$140 depending on whether a patient buys a brand name or its generic equivalent. For patients with health insurance, the typical out-of-pocket cost for drugs is a prescription drug copay that can cost $5- $30 or more.
What should be included:|
- A doctor may be able to diagnose impetigo by examining sores on the patient's skin and considering his or her medical history. The doctor may take a culture to rule out other conditions.
- Because scratching can spread the infection to other areas of the skin, it may help to cover fingernails or keep nails short.
- According to WebMD , caretakers should avoid sharing towels, pillows, sheets, clothes, toys or other items with an infected person.
Shopping for impetigo treatment:
- Discount outlets such as Costco and Walmart often sell prescription and over-the-counter drugs at significant savings. Walmart, for example, has a prescription drug program that includes certain generic drugs at commonly prescribed dosages.
- Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% of more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA, for example, patients without health insurance may qualify for a 45% discount off billed charges. They'll also be offered an additional 10% discount if payment is made within 10 days of receiving a bill.
- A family doctor or dermatologist can diagnose and prescribe treatment for impetigo. The American Board of Family Medicine offers a board-certified family physician locator while the American Academy of Dermatology offers a dermatologist locator . FindUrgentCare.com has an urgent care center locator .
- The Mayo Clinic offers tips to help patients with impetigo prepare for a doctor's appointment.
| Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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