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Impetigo - Preventing impetigo

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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As impetigo is a highly contagious condition, it is very important to take hygiene precautions to stop the infection spreading to other people.

The advice below will help to prevent the spread of infection.

  • Keep children off nursery, playgroup or school until their sores have dried up, blistered or crusted over or until 48 hours after starting treatment.
  • Don't share flannels, sheets or towels with infected people, and wash them at a high temperature after use.
  • Wash the sores with soap and water, and cover them loosely with a gauze bandage or clothing.
  • Don't touch the sores.
  • Wash your hands frequently, particularly after touching infected skin.
  • Avoid contact with newborn babies until the risk of contagion has passed (when the rash has crusted over, or after at least 48 hours of treatment with antibiotics).
  • Washable toys should also be washed. Wipe non-washable soft toys thoroughly with a cloth that has been wrung out in detergent and warm water and allowed to dry completely.
  • Treat suspected or confirmed cases quickly.
  • Cover cuts and grazes with a plaster or dressing.

To prevent the impetigo returning, keep cuts and scratches clean, and ensure that any condition that causes broken skin, such as eczema, is treated promptly.

Medical Review: April 23, 2012
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