3 December, 2003
My friend told me that she has impetigo. Her Orthodox physician told her that as long as she has a spot that is still not crusted over, she may not use the Mikvah. The fear was that the impetigo was contagious and it might infect other women using the mikvah. Is that correct? Is there anything that can be done?
She certainly can use the mikveh. She should just arrange with the mikveh attendant to be the last one to immerse that evening, and then the water should be changed. The risk of infection via the water is really minimal. There is more of a problem with using the mikveh towels, so she should bring her own and do most of her preparations at home. The risk of transmission is even less once she has gotten some treatment for the sores (generally antibiotics in a cream or by mouth).
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