I've been looking at several sources on how the virus spreads and they all mention that the skin has to be broken, but does it mean broken to the naked eye?

A minor scratch where the skin appears unbroken and there was no bleeding could still have microscopic breaks of the skin, therefore it seems risky to rely on the naked eye.

  • $\begingroup$ It seems some skin pathogens can't even infect visible skin breaches like abrasions (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24722416). Better to be safe than sorry though when it comes to protecting skin from potentially lethal infections. $\endgroup$ – Armatus Mar 27 '18 at 13:15

I believe that your books refer to 'broken' not necessarily meaning broken to the naked eye, but as in any broken epidermis.

The outer layer of your skin that protects you against infection is the epidermis. It's a water-tight layer mostly composed of keratinocytes joined together by adherens junctions. Logically, even if you can't see a breach in your skin (epidermis), there may still be one. While the chance of getting an infection from a non-visible break is less than the chance of infection from a visible scratch, it's still possible.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Source, please? $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Oct 28 '17 at 16:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.