If the infection is very mild, your baby's doctor may recommend that you simply keep the area clean and let it clear up on its own. More likely, though, your baby will need antibiotics to get rid of the infection. He must take the full course of medication to keep the infection from returning. Instead of oral antibiotics, your baby's doctor may prescribe an antibiotic skin cream to clear up the rash.

Whether or not your baby receives antibiotics, you'll need to keep the infected skin clean. Twice a day, gently wash away the scabs with warm water and an antibacterial soap, and then pat the area dry. Use a clean towel each time, and don't let anyone else use it afterward — or use a paper towel and toss it.

If your doctor has prescribed a topical ointment, apply it to the tender exposed skin. Your doctor may suggest loosely covering the infected skin with a gauze bandage.

Keep your baby's fingernails trimmed to prevent him from scratching the area, which can spread the infection to other parts of his body — or to other people.

Call the doctor if the treatment doesn't seem to be working after three days, your baby gets a fever, or the infected area becomes noticeably red and tender. If your baby keeps getting reinfected, talk to your doctor about how to identify and treat the source of the problem.

The doctor may need to do a tissue culture to determine which type of bacteria your baby is dealing with. To do this, she'll take a sample of the infected area with a simple skin swab. When the culture comes back a day or two later, she can determine which antibiotic will be most effective.



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