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Drawing of a hand infected by scabies itch mite. Credit:

What is scabies?

Scabies (pronounced skay-bees) is an infestation, not an infection. It is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis) the cause of scabies rash in humans is microscopic eight-legged mites, Dubbed them: The Little Demons; Female mites dig under the skin and make a tunnel to lay eggs. After the eggs hatch, the larvae move to the surface of the host’s skin, to mate and reproduce, or to find another host.

  The most common symptoms of scabies rash are intense itchiness and a pimple-like skin rash. For more details, go to this page Here.

 What is Norwegian crusted scabies?

Crusted scabies is a severe form of scabies, what distinguishes it is that the host’s body is invaded by tens of thousands of mites. It’s additionally referred to as Norwegian scabies. Due to weakened immune systems, the patients with crusted scabies develop thick crusts filled with mites and eggs.

Crusted scabies is a terribly contagious skin condition. so, be careful if you come across someone you suspect he has it, and avoid any direct skin to skin contact; Persons with Norwegian scabies should receive fast and aggressive medical treatment for their infestation.  

Is scabies contagious?

The answer to that question is yes; Scabies rash is highly contagious and may spread very easily by direct_prolonged_skin-to-skin contact with a person who has it already. in a family, childcare group, schools, nursing home, hospitals, or prison, these types of crowded conditions where skin contact is frequent, are a common site of scabies infestations.

Correction of some misconceptions: the scabies mite can’t jump or fly, and it crawls very slowly.

Due to the high contagiousness of scabies, doctors usually suggest treatment for the entire family (even those who did not show symptoms) or contact groups; also, they may insist to vacuum and clean all the biding and the furniture…

Is scabies caused by poor hygiene?

Poor hygiene is not the cause of scabies, anyone can get scabies; it’s caused by direct skin to skin contact with an already infected person; the mite affects people of all ages, races, and income levels whatever their living situation and socioeconomic status. People who are very clean and neat can get the infection.

Every year, approximately one million people in the United States catch scabies, and this number exceeds more than 300 million people worldwide.

Can scabies be cured?

what causes scabies
what causes scabies

Don’t worry, the good news is that a dermatologist can successfully diagnose and treat scabies, Medicines used (creams lotions or pills) can eliminate scabies and their eggs. Scabies only causes short-term distress, However, you will experience some disturbing itching for a few weeks before the medication takes effect.

See that section: “scabies treatment

Is there a vaccine for scabies?

Currently, there is no vaccine against scabies; although currently more work is required to better understand the interaction between the host immune system and the scabies mite, and it will probably take a lot of years for a vaccine to become available.

What are scabies symptoms and signs?

When a person is infested with scabies rash for the first time, it can take four to six weeks for the skin to react; you can still spread scabies even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms yet.

Scabies symptoms and signs include:

  • Severe itching, especially at night; Itching remains the most common symptom of scabies.

  • A pimple-like skin rash when mites dig into the skin, they form streaks or burrow lines, which are found in skin folds, and resemble hives, bites, knots, pimples, or patches of scaly skin, Blisters.

  • Scratching the rash can cause skin sores; sometimes these sores become infected by bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus).

  • Thick crusts: Norwegian scabies also called Crusted scabies, are a condition when hundreds of eggs are laid inside the skin scales.

How to diagnose scabies

In most cases, a doctor can recognize scabies based on the appearance of the rash also on the patient’s comments as well. Occasionally a skin scraping is employed to confirm the diagnosing. This involves collecting skin from the affected zone and using a microscope can determine mites.

Can I see scabies mites?

No probably not, cause to the naked eye, they may look like little black dots on the skin. The laboratory uses the microscope to identify and see scabies from a skin scraping because the mite cannot be seen with the naked eye.

How do you know if you’ve got scabies or not?

  1. Picture of some skin disease

 Scabies could be mistaken for different skin conditions due to the rash appearance indistinguishable. These pictures illustrate some skin diseases. What distinguishes scabies is a severe itch. 

Picture of some skin disease:

human skin conditions Complication Dermatology Disease
Human skin conditions pictures.

  1. What does scabies rash look like on your skin? (Scabies Burrows)

Another sign of infection is that the look of track-like burrows among the skin. These raised lines are usually grayish-white or skin-colored. They are created once female mites dig a tunnel just under the surface of the skin. Once creating a burrow, each female lays 10 to twenty-five eggs.

what does scabies look like? Follow the link to see.

Where does scabies start on the body?

Scabies rash is most often found in the human body in:

  • Between the fingers

  • In the armpits

  • waistline

  • Along the insides of the wrists

  • inner elbow

  • On the soles of the feet

  • the breasts, Circumference of the nipples

  • On the penis

  • in the buttocks

  • On the knees

    where do scabies spread in the human body?
    where does scabies spread in the human body?

What causes scabies?

Frequently Asked Questions about Scabies rash:

How do you get scabies rash?

The female mite lays its eggs within the tunnel it has created. The eggs hatch, and therefore the mite larvae move to the surface of the skin and spread across the body or to a different host through close physical contact; the itchiness of scabies results from

 Your body’s hypersensitive reaction to the mites, their eggs, and their waste.

Where does scabies come from?

Close physical contact and, less often, the sharing of vesture or bedding with an infected person will unfold the mites. 

Learn more from here:  How-you-get-scabies

Can I get scabies rash from a dog?

Humans don’t seem to be the only species suffering from mites. Dogs and cats may also be infected. However, every species hosts a distinct species of mite, Animals, and humans all are suffering from their own distinct species of mites. Every mite prefers one specific kind of host and can not live long far from that most well-liked host.

Humans might have a brief skin reaction from contact with the pet scabies mite. However, people are unlikely to develop a full-blown infection from a dog or a cat or any pet, as they could from contact with the human itch mite. The conclusion, you can get mites from handling an infested pet, but these mites can’t reproduce in your skin. Because they usually die off without causing serious symptoms. learn more about this subject by following this link:  Scabies on dogs.

Where do you get scabies from?

Anyone can get the infection, however, those at higher risk include:

  • children attending daycare or school

  • parents of young kids

  • sexually active adults with multiple sexual partners

  • residents of care facilities

  • People living in crowded conditions

  • Older adults. Also, people who have a weak immune system due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, lymphoma, or leukemia have a bigger risk.

How long can scabies mites live?

-On an individual, scabies mites will live for as long as 1-2 months.

-Off someone, itch mites typically don’t survive over 48-72 hours.

Itch mites can die if exposed to a temperature of 50°C (122°F) for ten minutes.

Scabies rash treatment:

the Scabies rash will not go away on its own; Scabies is cured with pills or medicated creams that kill mites and eggs. You need a doctor’s prescription for scabies treatment. However, some infestations can resolve without treatment.

This includes all persons who had contact with the patient directly.

Best cures are applied at night and washed off in the morning. The itching and rash may, in the beginning, become worse. However, ordinarily, you should feel relief in a week or two, and skin healing should be seen by 4 weeks after treatment. 

Most effective medical treatment of scabies rash:

  • 5 % permethrin cream, is the most common treatment for scabies bites; It is used to treat patients 2 months of age and older and during pregnancy.
  • Crotamiton cream.
  • Or lindane lotion.
  • 25 % benzyl benzoate lotion
  • 10 percent of sulfur ointment can be used.
  • Ivermectin.
  •  Other medications, for example, antihistamines, anti-itching lotions like Pramoxine lotion, antibiotics, and steroid creams may be prescribed.  
  • Medical treatment of scabies rash step by step:

 These scabicidal creams or lotions are applied over the whole body, from the neck down, where they’re left on the skin for at least eight to twelve hours, and then washed off. In some cases, a doctor might prescribe pills to treat the infection.

1-     Permethrin creams (Elimite, Acticin),

 It’s applied at least for seven days. Permethrin may be used for kids aged eight weeks old and more.

2-     Lindane (Ovide),

An alternative treatment is the cream of lindane, it has fallen out of favor due to numerous reports of neurotoxic symptoms like skin numbness, restlessness, anxiety, tremor, and convulsions. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy or in nursing ladies, the elderly, and kids younger than 24 months, or people that weigh less than 50 kilograms (hundred and ten pounds). It’s only suggested if other therapies haven’t been effective.

All about Lindane follow this Link.

3-     Ivermectin (Stromectol),

Ivermectin is an oral drug, many studies have proven its anti-parasitic and scabicidal properties; though, recently with the spread of the Coronavirus, an Australian study has shown that Ivomec can also be used as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. It could also be suggested for people that are immunocompromised, suffering from crusted scabies, or people who didn’t respond to topical therapy. Ivermectin is forbidden to use during pregnancy, as well as during the lactation period or by children who weigh less than thirty-three pounds.

4-     Crotamiton lotion

Crotamiton cream or lotion can be suggested as a treatment of scabies bites in adults, not for kids. Generally speaking, this treatment is not approved as the first option in fighting mites, because previous experiences proved his failure to eliminate the mites completely.

go to this link here to find more knowledge about Crotamiton.

5-     Sulfur in petrolatum

 (Sulfo-Lac, Sulfo-Lo)  a safe option to be used during pregnancy and in infants; still, Sulfur is not approved by the American Food and Drug Administration to be used as a treatment for scabies. finally, this drug is used only if permethrin cream, lindane, or Ivermectin cant be tolerated.  

6-     Antihistamines,

Such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Basically antihistamines are not treatments for scabies bites, but a doctor can prescribe antihistamines to relieve the itching caused by the allergic reaction to mites. In addition, your dermatologist may prescribe some topical or oral steroids to help control the itchiness.

7-     Washing and cleaning

Wash linens and cloth covering in hot water. Because mites do not live long far from the body, it’s not necessary to dry-clean the entire wardrobe, spray the pieces of furniture and rugs, and so forth.

8-     Treat contacted people

Finally, it’s primordial to treat sexual contacts or relevant members of the family who   have   symptoms

Important note:

It is important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions. Treating the skin more often than instructed can increase the rash and itching.

Scabies home remedies treatment:

 Herbal treatments also called Home remedies for scabies, like tea tree oil and neem tree oils, olive oil and lemon, hydrogen peroxide, Borax, bleach, Lysol, alcohol (rubbing alcohol), apple vinegar, haven’t consistently been shown to treat the infection. People need to look for treatment, one way or another.

Are there home remedies for scabies?

Scabies home treatments are generally not recommended. Indeed, some of the scabies home remedies might make scabies symptoms worse. A doctor’s prescription is usually recommended to cure your itch. almost, the majority of the non-prescription medication and home remedies for infection can only treat the symptoms of infection. however, mostly home remedies won’t kill the mites and their eggs or get rid of your scabies rash infection.

Consequently, we tend to recommend patients 1st look for conventional treatment and to take measures to stop reinfestation and also the spread of mites to others. Since, scabies rash is a parasitic infestation, antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections aren’t effective.   

PS: if you still want to try home remedies click here to learn more.

Scabies Prevention and control:

How to prevent scabies mite from reinfestation

To prevent re-infestation and spreading to other people, take these steps:

Wash or dry-clean:

 All clothes, towels, linens, etc. Use hot, bubbly water to wash all clothing, towels, and blanket used within three days before beginning scabies rash treatment. Dry with high heat, use a hot wash cycle (50°C or higher) when you start treatment.  

Starve the mites:

 Place unwashable pieces of stuff into a plastic bag and tie it up.  For 1 to few weeks to starve the mites and it will die after a few days deprived of food.

 Use the vacuum cleaner in the entire house:

Don’t forget to clean the carpets, rugs, upholstery, etc.

Avoiding close personal contact  exposed people:

The only sure method to stop scabies is to not have close, intimate contact with anyone. That includes Sexual partners and family members of people who develop scabies rash can be treated rapidly, the condition is identified so that they will not develop symptoms of scabies rash.

How to get rid of scabies at home?

As already understood, Scabies mites survive on the surface of clothes, bedding, or towels for 2 or three days. So, to get rid of scabies in your house, wash any pieces and wear used by the affected individual and dry them. Follow the tips listed above in this section: “ Scabies prevention” to get rid of scabies at home.

Can condoms protect me from scabies infection?

Scabies mites spread through close body contact, usually during sex. however, other intimate or close bodily contact can pass them on. You cannot prevent the spread of scabies by using condoms.  condoms are perfect at preventing other STDs (like HIV) but not operational against scabies transmission, and Scabies may seem kind of scary, particularly since it’s so easy to spread. On the other hand, try not to stress out too much about getting it. The good news is, scabies is easy to treat and does not frequently cause severe health problems.


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