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.