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Scabies is very infectious skin condition that is caused by a mite. The rash is very itchy and can be hard to diagnose. Both human and animals can be affected. Scabies can affect anyone despite of age, gender, or personal hygiene. It does not choose only those with low-income or poor housing conditions. Scabies is not the same as lice, although the treatment may be the same.


A tiny mite called Sarcoptes scabiei can cause scabies that can barely be seen by the human eye. It may come out as a small white dot. The scabies mite causes symptoms when it digs a small tunnel under the skin and causes a kind of allergic reaction. You can also acquire scabies from touching something that the mite is on, although this is less common. It is believed that the mite can live no longer than 2 days when not in contact with a human.

A good sign that scabies may be the cause is if several members of the same family or close contacts have the same symptoms. Small insect-type bites or lesions that may look like pimples may be shown on your skin. A burrow may also be seen. Scabies usually occurs in the fissure like areas of the body such as between the fingers or toes, the elbows, the buttocks, the waist area, the genital area or under the breasts in women.

Majority of the cases of the scabies can be diagnosed by relating the symptoms to the doctor and on examination of the skin. Some doctors will do a skin scraping to make or verify the diagnosis. Other performs a felt-tip marker test.

There are certain things you can do at home to avoid reinfecting yourself or your family: Rinse all clothing, towels, and bed linens in hot water. Do not allow air drying, instead you should use the dryer. Use the medicine as prescribed and instructed. Do not use it more than instructed because you risk causing chemical irritation of your skin. Antihistamine medications can also treat itching. Keep your nails short and clean them carefully to remove any mites or eggs that may be present and vacuum your rugs, furniture and bedding and throw the vacuum cleaner bag away when done.

A topical medication or cream is the most appropriate treatment to treat the scabies and anti-itch medications for relief. Several anti-itch medications are available in the antihistamine class. All family members and close contacts should be treated. It is best to treat everyone at the same time to prevent reinfection. The rash area can become infected, occasionally. This is separate from the scabies and is frequently a bacterial infection. If this occurs, treat this with an oral antibiotic or an antibiotic ointment applied to the area.

Follow your doctor's orders for prescription of anti-scabies agents, if prescribed for you. Do not apply to eyes, face, or mucous membranes and asked your doctor for the treatment if you are pregnant. The itching can last for up to 4 weeks even after treatment and does not essentially indicate ineffective treatment. Repeat examination by a doctor in 1-2 weeks is recommended.

It is not easy to prevent scabies. Prevention is the key. It is difficult to avoid scabies once someone close to you has scabies. You should also be treated once a close contact or family member has been diagnosed with scabies.

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