Scabies, What It is and How to Treat It
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Scabies, What It is and How to Treat It

Scabies is a worldwide skin condition, it involves an irritating itch. What is it and how can it be prevented?

A scabies infestation is very common. Scabies is highly contagious and is usually transferred from human to human or human to animal by direct skin to skin contact. It is an intense itching and can cause lack of sleep because the itch becomes more intense during the night time hours.

What makes you itch?

The burrowing infiltration of tiny mites, otherwise known as ‘Sarcoptes scabiei’, into the skin produces the itch associated with a scabies infection. It is the tiny mites moving underneath the top layers of skin that produces this itch.

How is scabies spread?

The scabies mite is not able to jump or fly but they are able to crawl. It is possible for scabies to be transmitted from objects such as bed sheets, furniture and clothes however it is more often that the scabies mite is translated from direct skin to skin contact because of this it is considered by many to be a sexually transmitted disease. Shaking hands is not likely to catch you scabies. First time infections usually take a month to a month and a half to begin to show symptoms.

How do you know it’s a scabies infection?

Small red bumps in the form of a rash are a great tell-tale sign of scabies. Blisters are often common within these rashes. The most common spots that the rash appears are between the fingers, waist, behind the knees, around the nipples and belly button. The backs of the feet, buttock and gentile area are also common places where the rash occurs.

In babies and young children the rash covers the head, neck, soles of the feet and the face.

How do you treat a scabies infection?

Scabies is a horrible itch and is simply treated. Most drugs are available through a prescription but there are some over the counter drugs that are available. The most popular treatment that is available are is a mite killer cream that is applied from the neck down and left on overnight then washed off in the morning. This treatment is safe to use on children as young as, but not younger than 2 months of age.

Scabies is a worldwide infestation and is extremely common and easily treated. For over 2000 years human scabies has been recorded. Nursing homes, hospitals and childcare centers have been the destination of reported outbreaks. In the US homeless people have reported outbreaks of scabies.

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