PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Keeping the skin clean is the best way to keep it healthy. Treat cuts, scrapes, insect bites and other wounds right away by washing the affected areas.
If someone in your family already has impetigo, take these measures to help keep the infection from spreading to others:
- Gently wash the affected areas with mild soap and running water and then cover lightly with gauze.
- Wash an infected person's clothes, linens and towels every day and don't share them with anyone else in your family.
- Wear gloves when applying any antibiotic ointment and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
- Cut an infected child's nails short to prevent damage from scratching.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Keep your child home until your doctor says he or she isn't contagious.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Baddour LM. Impetigo. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Impetigo. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Feb. 27, 2013.
- Impetigo care. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Impetigo.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token. Accessed Feb. 27, 2013.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 12, 2013.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology.6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed Feb. 28, 2013.
- Baddour LM. Patient information: Impetigo (beyond the basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 28, 2013.