A nurse is providing instructions to a patient diagnosed with impetigo. Which of the following is important in the prevention of impetigo transmission?

Frequent hand washing
Keep fingernails short
The use of separate dishes, linens, and towels

Explanation

• Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that is very contagious and is generally caused by staph or strep infections.

• Impetigo is transmitted by direct contact. Patients should be instructed to use separate towels, dishes, and linens. All linens and clothing should be washed separately with hot water. Linens do not need to be discarded.

• Fingernails should be kept short and scratching should be discouraged. Impetigo can be spread to other parts of the body and other people. Hand washing is the key way of preventing the spread of the infection.

• Lesions should be allowed to dry from air exposure; therefore, occlusive dressings should not be used.

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