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Skin Diseases 

Skin diseases can have many different causes including allergies, skin conditions, infestations and infections.  Signs of infection include redness, tenderness, swelling, and in some cases drainage or fever.  It is important to prevent the spread of skin infections by keeping the drainage away from other people or surfaces that people may touch.

Frequent and careful hand hygiene is the most important action everyone can take to prevent the spread of skin infections, especially after contact with persons or items that may be contaminated.  Hand hygiene means either washing hands with soap and running water, or using alcohol-based hand products such as gels or foams.  Alcohol-based hand products decontaminate your hands only when they are already visibly clean.

Overall personal cleanliness is important too.  Shower regularly, especially right after sports practices and events.  Regularly wash clothes including workout clothes, using a washing machine and dryer if possible.

All skin infections should be covered with clean dry dressings that completely cover the area and successfully contain the drainage.  Continue covering the infection site until it is healed.  Be careful when you remove a soiled dressing: immediately place it into a trash container, and wash your hands before applying the clean dressing.

Skin infections have been spread through sharing of items such as razors, towels, and clothing.  Do not share items that may have had contact with skin infections.

Please use the links below for additional information about skin infections and how to prevent their spread.

OSDH Links


Head Lice

Additional Resources:

For related information, see Rash Illness and Tickborne Illness.

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