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Is Impetigo Contagious?

Impetigo is caused by bacteria, which can be spread between individuals. Impetigo is a contagious skin condition that can affect anyone. However, it is more common in places that have warm, humid conditions, as well as places that have frequent skin-to-skin contact, such as dormitories and correctional facilities.

How Contagious Is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria. Most of the time, it is caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. Streptococcus bacteria can also cause impetigo.
Many people wonder if impetigo is contagious. The answer is yes -- these bacteria can be spread between individuals. Transmission normally occurs through direct skin-to-skin contact or by touching shared items or surfaces (such as towels or used bandages) that have come into contact with someone else's infection.
Impetigo can affect anyone. However, these infections tend to occur more often in certain environments, such as warm, humid conditions, or certain settings, such as schools, dormitories, military barracks, households, correctional facilities, and daycare centers.
These settings have risk factors that make it easier to transmit impetigo. Some of these factors include:
  • Crowding
  • Frequent skin-to-skin contact
  • Compromised skin (i.e., cuts or abrasions)
  • Contaminated items and surfaces
  • Lack of cleanliness.
(You can learn more about how this contagious illness is spread by clicking Impetigo Transmission.)
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Impetigo Information

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