There's no long list of scabies causes to memorize. This condition is caused by one thing: the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. This particular mite is attracted to the body temperature and smell of humans. The mite is an eight-legged bug that is not visible with the naked eye, although it can be seen through a microscope.
How Scabies Spreads
Scabies is very contagious and spreads from person to person via close skin-to-skin contact. In rare cases, scabies can transfer to another person without direct skin contact
Contact usually has to be close and intimate, such as sleeping in the same bed with someone who has scabies or touching someone who has scabies. If you shake the hand of someone with scabies and the rash is not on the hands, you're at a very low risk for getting it, as the scabies mite cannot fly or jump. It is a slow mover.
The mites can survive on clothing, bedding, upholstery and carpeting for short periods of time. That means you can get scabies by wearing someone else's clothes or by sitting on the same chair.
Anyone can get scabies. It is treatable with prescription creams and lotions. You can also wash daily with a soap that has a high concentration of sulphur, which will kill the mites and their eggs.
To prevent contraction, avoid anyone that you know who has scabies. Make sure that infected people and anyone they are in contact with gets treated.
Scabies mites can live for 24 to 36 hours without a human host. If an infected person is in the house, furniture, carpets and clothing all must be treated. Laundry should be washed with hot water and bleach. Steam clean carpets and furniture to ensure the mites die.
Scabies like to attach themselves to humans in areas of rough or wrinkled skin, such as the areas on the elbows, knees and knuckles. If you scratch at that area, then touch another part of your body, you can spread the scabies to the other parts of your body.
Pets and Scabies
Dogs and cats also get mites, but it is a different mite that causes the scabies on pets. The mite that attacks dogs and cats cannot live on the human body, and they will fail to propagate on human skin. They can live long enough on a human to cause a bit of itchiness, but not long enough to cause problems.
Scabies symptoms may not appear until six weeks after infection, even though the person with scabies is highly contagious. Learn about the early symptoms and how to treat this condition.
What does scabies look like? A scabies infection usually begins with a telltale cluster of small, itchy bumps.
Scabies is a rash that is an allergic reaction to the proteins of the human itch mite. Medication used for treatment is by prescription only.