What is scabies?
Scabies is a condition caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. Microscopic scabies mites burrow into the upper layer of the skin to live and lay its eggs. Scabies mites are usually spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies, but may also be spread by sharing towels, bed sheets, and other personal belongings. An infected person can spread scabies even if he or she has no symptoms. Humans are the source of infestation; animals do not spread human scabies. Scabies can affect people of all ages and from all income and social levels.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a scabies infestation usually do not appear for two to six weeks after being infested. The most common symptoms of scabies are itching, especially at night, and a pimple-like itchy rash. Itching and rash may affect a majority of the body or be limited to common sites including between the fingers, wrist, elbow, armpit, penis, nipple, waist, buttocks, and shoulder blades.
What is the treatment?
Since scabies will not go away on its own, it is important to visit a Take Care Health Provider to determine the appropriate course of treatment. Products to treat scabies, called scabacides, kill scabies mites and mite eggs and must be prescribed by a healthcare provider. If you have scabies, you and anyone you have close contact with must all be treated at the same time. This keeps the mites from being passed back and forth from person to person. Machine wash all clothing and bedding in hot water, and dry in the dryer’s hot-air cycle.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.