Four Facts About Scabies

Published on: March 30, 2015 (Last modified on: July 14, 2020)

You have most likely heard of scabies, but you may not know exactly what this condition is, how it is contracted or treated. Scabies is a skin infestation of the human itch mite, which causes a rash and itchy skin. It is very uncomfortable and is also contagious, so it is important to know what to do if you or someone you know has this condition. Here are four facts about scabies that everyone should know:

Scabies are only transmitted from humans.

The mites that cause scabies only live and breed in the human skin, not any other type of animal. To get scabies, you must be in contact with another person that has the condition.

Prolonged contact is usually needed to spread scabies.

Usually, scabies are only spread with prolonged skin-on-skin contact, not through casual touch or from personal items. However, severe cases of scabies can lead to easier transmission of the mites from one person to another.

Scabies can only be treated by a doctor.

There are no over-the-counter remedies or treatments for scabies. If you think you have scabies, you should immediately see your dermatologist to be diagnosed and treated if necessary.

You can have scabies and not know it.

It can take a few weeks for you to have any symptoms of scabies, even if you have the mites on your body. Those who live with or are in close contact with someone diagnosed with scabies should see a doctor to determine whether you need to be treated. Otherwise, you may give scabies back to the infected person, continuing the cycle. 

Scabies can cause a rash and sores that can become infected with bacteria, so it is important to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

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