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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

FactSheet: Boils and impetigo Volume 14 Issue 1-2

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 14(2) 29 - 29 Published: 01 February 2003

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A boil is an infection of the skin, usually caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. Boils are tender, swollen sores, which are full of pus. The tenderness usually goes away, once the boil bursts and the pus and fluid drain. Impetigo is an infection of the skin caused by either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria. The symptoms of impetigo are either small blisters or flat, honey-coloured crusty sores, on the skin. Impetigo is sometimes called ‘school sores’.