Health A-Z

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To help prevent impetigo, take a bath or shower every day, and always keep your skin clean. If you have cuts or scrapes in your skin, or a poison ivy rash, make sure to keep the area clean and avoid scratching.

If you have impetigo, you can prevent spreading the infection by not touching the affected area. You can easily spread the infection from one place on your body to another if you touch the infection then touch somewhere else. To keep impetigo from spreading, it is very important that pillowcases and sheets be washed every day. Personal items, such as soap and towels, should be kept separate from other family members. Playmates who come in contact with infected skin can develop impetigo, so children who have impetigo should try to avoid contact with others until it clears up.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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