Is impetigo contagious
By Dr. Anna H. Chacon, MD, Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology Aug 29, 2022 • 1 min
Impetigo is highly contagious. It’s a common bacterial skin infection that mostly affects children, although anyone can get it. Left untreated, impetigo can last for two weeks or longer, continuing to be contagious until it resolves on its own.
Two bacteria are responsible for causing impetigo: group A Streptococcus, also known as group A strep, and Staphylococcus aureus. Many people carry these bacteria in their nose or on their skin at times, and while some will never contract impetigo, these “carriers” can spread it to others who may become infected. However, people with impetigo are much more likely to transmit the bacteria than asymptomatic carriers.
Impetigo spreads primarily through direct contact with infected skin, touching contaminated objects, or by nasal discharge from an infected person. Do not share personal items like towels and clothes with anyone else. Keep your sores clean and covered until they heal.
Published August 2022.