What is Scabies?


Scabies is a contagious skin disease caused by mites (little bugs). The mites burrow under the skin and cause little red bumps and severe itching. The infestation can spread rampantly from 1 person to another, particularly if they talk about close living spaces. Because of this, if a single member of a household becomes infected with scabies mite, other relatives and close connections may also get infected.

The mites live in “burrows” or “tunnels” in the folds and narrow cracks of epidermis. Although, any part of the body could be included, some common mite websites are:

  • Web of palms (folds in between the fingers and toes).
  • Bends at the knees and wrists.
  • Waist (area around the belt line).
  • Underneath toenails.
  • Folds in genitals and thighs.
  • Under rings, watch bands and bracelets.
  • In girls, in the area around the brow.

Who gets scabies?

Anyone can get scabies. It does not restrict itself to just individuals with poor hygiene. Some factors that increase the risk of getting scabies include:

  • Dwelling in close and crowded conditions.
  • Babies and children (as they tend to have lot of close, physical contact with other people including their mother, parents, friends, family members and classmates.)
  • Elderly (particularly if they live in nursing homes).
  • Health care workers (without knowing they could come in contact with a individual, with scabies).

Symptoms of scabies: Symptoms of scabies are:

  • Intense itching (which can be more severe during the night).
  • Skin rash (appear as tiny red bumps that look like snacks or pimples).
  • Intense itching, which disturbs sleep or leads to loss of sleep.

The symptoms start about four to six weeks after getting infected with the mite. If you are exposed to any person with scabies, get rechecked around six weeks once you feel you might have been exposed or if you develop symptoms.

Treatment of scabies: Scabies is treated with topical medications (lotion which contains a medication). Use the lotion as directed by your health care provider. The medicine has to be applied on the whole body under the head including the hands, palms and soles of their feet. In certain cases like kids with scabies, the doctor may recommend employing some kinds of lotion on scalp too. Before applying the medication, guarantee that the skin is dry and clean. After being left for a couple hours, the lotion is washed (most lotions have to be applied at night and washed off in the daytime). Some people may have itching to get a couple of weeks following the infestation is removed. The health care provider can prescribe antihistamines (medication taken by the mouth) or lotions to relieve itching. Each of the members of a family should be checked and treated for scabies.


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