About Scabies

By Dr. Coco

April 22, 2023

Scabies is a skin condition caused by an infestation of the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. It is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person through physical contact or sharing of items such as clothing, towels, and bedding. Scabies affects people of all ages, but it is most common in children and those with weakened immune systems. The symptoms of scabies include intense itching, especially at night, rashes, small red bumps on the skin, and burrows that look like thin grey lines on the surface of the skin.

The first step in treating scabies is to identify the source of infection. If someone in your household has been diagnosed with scabies, everyone else should be checked for signs of infection. It is important to treat everyone who may have been exposed to prevent further spread. Treatment typically involves using a topical cream or lotion containing permethrin or crotamiton to kill the mites on contact. These medications are available over-the-counter or by prescription from your doctor.

In addition to treating any affected individuals with medication, all bedding and clothing must be washed in hot water and dried on high heat for at least 20 minutes to kill any remaining mites or eggs. Vacuuming furniture and carpets can also help remove any mites present in these areas. To prevent re-infestation, it is important to avoid sharing items such as towels and clothing with others who may have been exposed to scabies until they have completed their treatment course.

It is also important to practice good hygiene habits such as washing hands frequently and avoiding close contact with anyone who has scabies symptoms until they have completed their treatment course. This includes not shaking hands or touching any objects that may have come into contact with someone who has scabies until they are treated properly. While it may be difficult for some people to avoid close contact with family members or friends who may be infected with scabies, it is essential for preventing further spread of this condition within a household or community setting.

Scabies can cause significant discomfort due to its associated intense itching sensations; however, it can usually be effectively treated with over-the-counter medications if caught early enough before it spreads too far throughout an individual’s body or between multiple people in close proximity. With proper identification of cases and appropriate treatment protocols followed by all affected individuals, this condition can usually be eliminated from a household or community setting quickly and effectively without causing too much disruption for those involved.