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"Are the yellow scabbed sores on my head contagious?"


I have developed large yellow crusted lesions along the edge of my hair. As they begin to split open and pus a clear/green-hued liquid they become incredible itchy. I am a high school wrestler and I have physical contact excessively during season.


Yes, these scabs can be contagious, meaning that you could have gotten the bacteria that caused them from someone, and you also could be sharing them with others unless you are treating them and covering them properly. Alternatively, some people carry the bacteria themselves and only have infections when they have a breakdown of their skin. These scabs should be seen by a doctor, as the fact that your body is making pus is a sign that your body is fighting some type of infection that will likely need some type of antibiotics.

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What you are describing sounds like it could be impetigo, which is a crusting, superficial bacterial infection that is commonly shared in environments with close contact, warmth, and humidity (in other words, a high school wrestling environment). The problem with this infection, in addition to it being unsightly and sharing it with others, is the fact that it can cause serious kidney and heart problems (post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis and rheumatic fever, respectively). Additionally, it can become a deeper infection that can affect you in other ways as well. Please see your primary care doctor immediately to begin appropriate treatment and discuss methods to prevent this from being spread to other people.

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