What is scabies? | Scabies is a skin disease | How is mange spread? | What are the causes and symptoms of scabies.
What is scabies?
Scabies is a skin disease that causes itching, caused by small parasites. It is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, usually during sex. Scabies is not dangerous and can be cured.
Scabies is a skin disease
Scabies is caused by scabies mites, tiny insect-like parasites that infect the most superficial layer of the skin. Scabies causes rashes, irritation and a lot of itching. It is easily transmitted from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact.
Scabies mites dig tunnels in the outer layer of your skin and lay eggs. Of the eggs, more mites are born, although most people with scabies only have between 10 and 15 mites in the body at the same time. The mites are very small so you may not see them, but you probably notice the itching and irritation they cause.
Scabies can be very annoying, but in general, it is not dangerous. It can be cured with medicated pills or creams.
How is mange spread?
Scabies is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. This usually happens during sex, especially when the bodies are near or in contact for a long time (for example, when sleeping together).
Most adults become infected during sexual intercourse, but it can also be spread through other routes. Scabies can be transmitted to other people in your home and is common in crowded places where there is a lot of direct skin contact (such as nursing homes, prisons and day care centers for children). Sometimes scabies is spread by sharing clothes, towels or sheets with an infected person.
It is very difficult to get contacted by a quick and casual contact, such as a handshake or a hug. Usually, you do not get scabies from sitting on a toilet. Most of the time, a very close personal contact with an infected person is required for the disease to be transmitted.
What are the symptoms of scabies?
Symptoms of scabies
The symptoms of scabies are not always easy to see or they may seem like something else (like an allergic rash).
The signs of scabies are:
- Intense itching that gets worse at night
- Rashes with pimple-like bumps, small blisters, or peeling
- Small linear elevations with curves in your skin (grooves made by scabies mites under your skin)
The most common places where the eruption of scabies appears are:
- The membrane between the fingers
- The folds of your wrist, elbow or knee
- The pubic and inguinal areas
- The breasts
- The belly button
- The penis and scrotum
- The thighs and the bottom of your buttocks
- The shoulder blades
- Around your waist
The symptoms may appear and disappear, but that does not mean that the infection has disappeared. The only way to end scabies is by treating it. You can spread scabies to other people regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, so it is important to consult a doctor or nurse if you think you have scabies.
At what time does the scabies rash usually appear?
If you never had scabies, the symptoms may take between 3 and 6 weeks after the infection to appear. However, if you already had scabies and you become infected again, the symptoms may appear in a few days.
You can spread scabies to other people as soon as you get it, even before you have symptoms.
Do I have scabies?
How do I know if I have scabies?
Symptoms of scabies include itching, rashes, and furrows in the skin (small dark lines and curves under the skin). However, the only way to know for sure is to be checked by a nurse or doctor.
Sometimes, it will be enough to see your symptoms to know that you have scabies. The nurse or the doctor may also try to look for evidence of mites and eggs on your skin. They can remove a mite from the end of a furrow or examine with a microscope a small sample of skin obtained by scraping to look for mites, eggs or mite excrement. However, it is possible to be infected even though the doctor does not find mites or eggs on your skin.
Go to a nurse or doctor if you have symptoms or if a person with whom you have had close contact recently is receiving treatment for scabies. If you think you have scabies, take it easy. Scabies is easy to cure with medication.
How is scabies treated?
What is the treatment for scabies?
Scabies is treated with a prescription drug that kills mites and eggs, called “scabicide.” Scabicide usually comes in the form of a cream or lotion. You should rub the cream against scabies all over your body, from the neck to the toes, and wash after several hours.
Sometimes, the nurse or doctor may prescribe a pill instead of a cream. Be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully and the packaging instructions.
What should I do to eradicate scabies?
Take the medication and wash or dry clean all bedding and towels. Also dry clean or wash the clothes you used while you had scabies. Wash the fabrics with water as hot as possible and dry them at high temperature for at least 20 minutes.
You can put clothes that are not washable and that can be infected in a tightly closed bag for at least three days so that mites and eggs die. It is also advisable to vacuum the carpets and furniture from the environments where the infected people were (then throw the vacuum bag in the trash). It is not necessary to call an exterminator or fumigate the house.
If you had scabies, tell your sexual partners and all people with whom you have had close contact. They must receive treatment simultaneously so as not to be reinfected. It is recommended not to have sexual intercourse or any other type of intimate contact before ending the treatment.
It is normal to continue having itching until 2 or 3 weeks after treatment, even if it has been effective and the scabies has healed. If it persists for longer or if you notice new rashes or furrows under the skin, you may need to repeat the treatment.
home remedies for scabies?
No. You need a medication prescribed by a doctor to cure scabies. Some home remedies and over-the-counter products can help you with the itching and discomfort, but they will not kill the mites or rid you of the infection.
How can I avoid contracting or transmitting scabies?
How do I avoid getting scabies?
Scabies is very contagious and is easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, the only way to prevent scabies is not to have close intimate contact with anyone. Also, you should avoid touching or sharing clothes with infected people before they have finished their treatment.
Using a condom is excellent for preventing other STDs (such as HIV), but it does not protect you against scabies. Scabies can scare a little, especially because it is very contagious. However, try not to become obsessed with the contagion. The good news is that scabies is easy to treat and usually does not cause serious health problems.
How can I avoid transmitting scabies?
Follow carefully all the steps for the treatment against scabies. Do not have sex until you and your partner (s) have completed the treatment and avoid close personal contact with others. Do not share clothes or sheets until you have rid yourself of scabies and have washed everything well.