How to Stop Impetigo Spreading

Written by ehow health editor
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Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial infection that is spread through direct and indirect contact with infected items or surfaces. You see Impetigo most often in school age children, although it can affect anyone. Impetigo is not a sign of poor hygiene.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Wash hands often with an antibacterial soap. Shower daily, and use only clean towels and wash clothes. Wash cuts or abrasions thoroughly and cover with a dressing if needed. Impetigo can be itchy, so a light covering might be necessary to stop spreading.

  2. 2

    Keep the infected child home until 24 hours after beginning antibiotic treatment, or while the sores are still weeping. Complete the full cycle of antibiotics prescribed by your physician. Scabs may need to be removed if a prescription ointment is used. Dispose of the scabs properly, as they are rife with bacteria.

  3. 3

    Cut fingernails short and keep them clean. Throw away all tissues and dressings in a bin with a lid as soon as they are used or removed. Keep dirty laundry separate. Wash the laundry in hot water and hang in the sun to dry or tumble dry hot. Disinfect all toys and keep children and toys separated while the infected child is contagious.

  4. 4

    Separate children who sleep together. Keep uninfected children away from the infected child's bed or sleeping mat.

Tips and warnings

  • Children with eczema are at a higher risk for impetigo then others. Treat eczema immediately to reduce the risk of the sores becoming infected with impetigo

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