Scabies is an itchy, highly contagious skin condition caused by an infestation of the “itch mite”… Mites are small parasites, they are ⅓ mm long and burrow into the skin to produce intense itching which tends to be worse at night. The mites that infest humans are female and 3 mm long, males are half this size
How do you get scabies?
- Direct skin-to-skin contact is the mode of transmission
- They can only live off the human body for 24-36 hours
- Sexual and physical contact can transmit the disease
- Sexual is the most common way to get it
- Can you catch scabies from a dog or cat?
- Dogs and cats get infected with a different kind of scabies
What does scabies look like?
- They produce a skin rash composed of small red bumps andblisters and might be in the webs between the fingers, the wrist, the backs of elbows, knees, around the waist, nipples, sides or backs of the feet, genital area, buttocks
- The bumps contain blood crust
- There are never more than 10-15 live mites even if there are hundreds of bumps
What does it feel like?
- It is important to note that symptoms may not appear for up to two months after you have been infected
- Even though symptoms my not occur, you can still spread them to others
- Itching is the most common symptom
- The itch is insidious and relentless for the first two weeks, it is subtle till gradually it becomes more intense and after a month or two it become almost impossible to sleep
What is the treatment?
- Curing scabies is rather easy with the administration of prescription scabies drugs
- With the creams, scabies are rid of in a week to 10 days