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14 January 2018 – 9:17 pm | One Comment

Someone asked our 6.5yo Brie about her recent Mount Lawu hike:
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Home » Daily, Food & Health

Vai’s skin problem : What it is, according to our dermatologist

11 August 20088 Comments

Two weeks ago Vai had a tiny scratch on his nose tip, and since then he’s been having ‘strange sores’ appearing on his face.

First, his nose looked as if it’s been burnt, then as the scabs slowly came off, little red blister-like dots appeared here and there.

We suspected cold sores. We even assumed it’s actually some sort of an allergic reaction to this medicated ointment called ‘Zam-buk‘.

Since his skin condition didn’t get better, we went to see a dermatologist at National University Hospital to find out what it’s all about.

[We saw Dr. Seow from clinic D]

And we’re glad we saw a skin specialist because within 3 minutes of seeing him, he told us it is NOT an allergic reaction to Zam-buk!

He said Zam-buk contains Eucalyptus oil and it’s actually alright for kids’ skin.


Vai apparently has this skin condition called ‘Impetigo‘.

[And here’s more info about it for everyone’s reference, just in case you encounter anything similar in the future]

It’s a skin infection that happens when a certain type of bacteria enters the skin, eg. through a cut or scrape, and it’s common among children between the ages of 2 and 6 years.

It is contagious if the infected skin touches another person who has a cut too. Otherwise, our healthy skin is well designed to resist all sorts of infection, keeping billions of bacteria from entering our body.

[Photo sequence above : how it all started and developed over six days]

For Vai’s case, then apparently the bacteria got in through that tiny little scratch on his nose.

There are two types :
crusted and fluid-filled blisters, and apparently Vai got the crusted type.

Though in some cases they do get itchy, for Vai’s case he doesn’t feel the itch at all. There’s no fever and he’s as normal as he can be.

And here’s the good news:
however ‘scary’ the skin may look when one has impetigo, there’ll be no scarring (Phew!). And with antibiotics, it should all clear within three or four days.

[And really, after a quick check on the internet I saw how ‘bad’ the skin condition can get when one comes down with Impetigo, and I’m VERY glad Vai’s condition is still considerably mild when we saw the doctor!]

Frankly, with Vai touching ‘everything’ in public, playing and even lying on the floor in public places at times, I do wonder if I can actually ‘protect’ him from getting bacterial infections again in the future.

I don’t think I can though.

On one hand, I obviously don’t want him to get sick or infected by anything (no sane parents do).

On the other hand however, I never want to be a parent who carries antiseptic wipes everywhere, always wiping my kids hands and face every time they’ve played and touched something in public. That’ll be too paranoid for me, and my husband and I don’t want to have such an attitude when it comes to kids and play.

And so having gone through this episode with Vai, this is what we’ll most likely do :
Try to immediately (where possible) apply antiseptic cream when our kids get scratches or cuts while in public, to prevent bacteria / germs from entering the body through that cut.

BUT. Even if we practice such a habit, I know there’s no guarantee that our kids will be ‘protected’ from sickness though (eg. if he’s gotten the bacteria on his skin right BEFORE he gets a cut, or when the scrape is simply not noticeable)

In the end, it all comes to down to one thing I think :
If our children are healthy, if we’re healthy, if our other family members are healthy, it’s not because we can protect ourselves 100% from sickness (because nobody can ever do that).

It’s only because of God’s grace alone that we have good health.

[One more good reason why we should always live a grateful life, counting our ‘uncountable’ blessings we’ve received from above]

Now. I do look forward to seeing Vai’s skin getting the ‘all-clear’ condition real soon!


Click the links below to read more on IMPETIGO :

Impetigo by Babycenter

Impetigo by Wikipedia

Impetigo by Kidshealth


  • Britney says:

    I am glad I found your bog! My 2 year old daughter has this right now and I’ve been driving myself crazy worrying about it! I went to change her diaper 2 days ago and thought she had diaper rash but it didn’t make sense to me because I’m always on top of changing her, but I put some diaper rash ointment on it anyway and it still didnt clear up at all. Then I noticed it on her mouth and more on her face. So I called the doctor and made an appointment and we had to wait until the next day to be seen. So I tried to do my own “investigating” until then on the internet, probably the worst thing I could’ve done. Of course they only show the pictures of the worst cases and I was so worried it would be as bad as the pictures. Yesterday we saw her doctor and she told us it was impatigo(sp?) And she perscribed the ointment. She told us the ointment alone 3x’s a day for 10 days will clear it all up. I am pretty sure I know how she got it. We were at a store almost a week ago and she picked up a kids toy microphone and she touched her mouth with it, by the time I went to grab it it was too late. Later that day I noticed her lip was a little red and I just thought maybe she had chapped lips so I put chapstick on it. But looking back now I think she must have had a little cut from the toy because that’s where it started and that’s one of the spots that has it pretty bad. After reading your blog I’ve got a couple questions answered. I think from all the worrying I forgot to ask her doctor all the questions I had, but you helped. Thank you!

    • Leonny says:

      Hi Britney!

      Thanks for sharing!

      I could really understand how worried you were … especially when we’re simply unsure of what’s happening on our child’s skin.

      Really hope your daughter is all well now.

      You’re most welcome to follow and visit my parenting blog anytime! =D

      Have a great week ahead!

  • Hi Sandra! How your daughter long was sick? At my son too was sick impetigo and we have cured during one week without antibiotics.

  • Kerri says:

    Thanks for the post! Our little girl (13 mos) has had a very mild rash under her nose for over a month. I was shocked when the Dr said it was impetigo. It does not look anything like the severe cases on the internet, but we can’t get it to go away with good hygiene and antibacterial ointment (recommended by my Dr before prescribing antibiotics) so I’m taking her back this week to get the meds. It’s so ugly!! She’s also addicted to the pacifier at night, so I’m sure that doesn’t help..

  • Leonny says:


    Thanks so much for writing and spotting our blog post on Impetigo! I can say now Vai no longer has the infection, but it was quite an experience for us who knows nothing about what Impetigo is before the incident.

    Thanks again for the resourceful site,!

  • Leonny says:

    Hi Sandra! Yes, good thing I didn’t postpone the doc’s appointment! (was about to) Phew!

  • Sandra says:

    Oh so glad to hear that u found out what it was & it’s a mild case.

  • Leonny says:

    Additional info :

    We were prescribed the following :

    1) Anti-bacterial cream called Fucidin (contains antibiotics), to be applied for 2 weeks, 1x / day

    2) Esemtan Wash Lotion (for general washing / bathing)

    3) Antibiotics, to be taken orally 3x / day, for one week

    At National University Hospital :

    1) Waiting time at the pharmacy – just to collect the medicine – is up to 50 mins! Our medicine costs S$36

    2) Subsidised fee (upon seeing the dermatologist) is only S$30 (subsidy of $60)

1 Pingbacks »

  • I am sure sorry to hear about little Vai’s impetigo. As you said, impetigo is a skin infection caused by a certain type of bacteria. Dr. Greene sees it frequently in kids ages 2 to 6. I’m glad your daughter Anya didn’t pick it up, because it can be spread if the infected skin touches a cut or scrape on someone else’s skin.

    Most kids need a topical antibiotic ointment to make it go away, but sometimes oral antibiotics are the answer. Sounds like your physician recommended just what Vai needed, and we’re glad he’s feeling better.

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