Skin Home > What Is the Incubation Period for Impetigo?

If you have become infected with the bacteria that cause impetigo, you will not immediately have any signs or symptoms. On average, it takes about one to three days for symptoms of this skin infection to appear. This period between transmission and the beginning of symptoms is called the "impetigo incubation period."
There are a couple of different ways you can get impetigo. People can transmit bacteria from one person to another; someone who already has the skin condition can transmit it from one area of the body to another. Skin-to-skin contact is the most common source for transmission.
These sores have a large amount of bacteria in them. If you scratch or touch an active sore contaminated with bacteria and then touch another part of the body, you can spread infection to that area. Impetigo can also spread from one person to another in the same manner.
The bacteria that cause this condition may also spread by touching shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection. This includes things such as towels, bedding, uniforms, razors, washcloths, and sporting equipment.
(Click Impetigo Transmission for a more in-depth description of how long the incubation period is and how this skin infection is spread.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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