Is Impetigo Contagious?

Q:
Is impetigo contagious?

A:
Impetigo is a highly contagious infection that is easily spread from person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact or by touching shared items or surfaces (such as towels or used bandages).

Impetigo can affect anyone. But the infection is more likely to occur in certain environments, such as warm, humid conditions, or certain settings, such as schools, dormitories, military barracks, households, correctional facilities and daycare centers.

What you should do or not do to stop impetigo spreading or getting worse?

If it’s still contagious, you can do some things to help stop it spreading or getting worse.

You should:

  • Stay away from school or work;
  • Keep sore, blisters and crusty patches clean and dry;
  • Cover them with loos clothing or gauze bandages;
  • Wash your hands frequently;
  • Wash your flannels, sheets and towels at a high temperature;
  • Wash or wipe down toys with detergent and warm water if your children have impetigo.

You should not:

  • Touch or scratch sores, blisters or crusty patches;
  • Have close contact with children, or people with diabetes or a weakened immune system;
  • Share flannels, sheets or towels;
  • Prepare food for other people;
  • Go to the gym;
  • Play contact sports like football.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.