Impetigo/Skin Infections

Impetigo is an infection of the superficial layers of the skin. The bacteria that causes impetigo is usually strep or staph. It is transmitted by direct contact with a person who either has a purulent (draining) skin lesion or is a nasal carrier of the bacteria. Auto-infections of nasal carriers (self-induced infections that occur after touching one's own nostrils then touching own skin without washing hands first) are responsible for at least one third of impetigo infections.


Include itchy, "weeping," yellow crusted skin lesions, and large or small blisters.


Occupational transmission and infections are prevented by using standard infection control precautions. The employee should be evaluated and treated by his/her personal physician unless a known and unprotected exposure has occurred at work.

Work status

The employee may return to work when the skin lesions are crusted over or dried. The employee may not work if there are remaining blisters or draining skin lesions on the skin. If the employee is a nasal carrier, he/she may work but must use strict handwashing and follow the standard infection control policies. If the employee comes to work and has a rash with blisters and/or pustules, he/she is to be sent to Employee Health Services for a work clearance. If employee health is closed, the employee is to be sent home and cleared by his/her personal physician.

Developed by Employee Health Services