Medically the review by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST — created by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst — update on September 28, 2018

What is scabies?

Scabies is a highly transmittable skin problem that’s resulted in by a very tiny mite referred to as Sarcoptes scabiei. This mites can burrow into your skin and also lay eggs. As soon as the egg hatch, the new mites keen onto your skin and make new burrows.

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This reasons intense itching, particularly at night. You could also an alert thin tracks of small, red blisters or bumps. Others build a rash in areas of folded skin, such as the buttocks, knees, arms, breasts, or genitals.

While scabies have the right to be spread through sex-related contact, it’s generally passed v nonsexual skin-to-skin contact.

Read on come learn an ext about just how scabies is spread and also how lengthy it’s contagious.


how is scabies sexually sent ?

Scabies deserve to be sent with close body contact or sexual contact with someone that is infected. Friend can additionally get scabies if she exposed because that a long period of time come infested furniture, clothing, or linens. It’s also sometimes confused with pubic lice because both conditions cause comparable symptoms.

But unlike other sexually sent infections, condoms, dental dams, and methods of security aren’t effective against scabies. If you or her partner has scabies, you will do it both require to obtain treated to avoid transmitting the condition back to each other.


just how else is scabies spread?

Scabies is commonly spread by direct skin-to-skin call with someone who has actually scabies. According to the Centers for condition Control and Prevention, contact usually requirements to be an extensive to spread out scabies. This method that you’re i can not qualify to obtain it from a quick hug or handshake.

This sort of close call tends to happen amongst people in ~ the same household or in:

nursing homes and also extended treatment facilitieshospitalsclassroomsdaycaresdorms and student residencesgym and sports lockersprisons

In addition, sharing personal items the come into call with your skin, such as clothing, towels, and also bedding, can also spread scabies to others in some cases. However this is more likely in cases of crusted scabies, a form of scabies that can influence people who have a dilute immune system.


just how is scabies treated?

Scabies calls for treatment, usually through a prescription cream or lotion. Recent sexual partners and anyone who resides with friend will also need to it is in treated, also if they don’t show any type of signs or symptom of scabies.

Your physician will likely tell you to apply the medicine over all of your skin, from her neck to her feet, after ~ a bath or shower. Some drugs can also be safely used to your hair and face.

Keep in mind the these topical treatments often need to be left on for at least 8 to 10 hours at a time, so protect against putting the on prior to taking a shower or bath. You might need to execute several treatments, depending upon the form of medication provided or if brand-new rashes appear.

Common topical medicines used to treat scabies include:

permethrin cream (Elmite)lindane lotioncrotamiton (Eurax)ivermectin (Stromectol)sulfur ointment

Your doctor might recommend various other medications and home remedies come treat symptoms resulted in by scabies, such as itching and infection.

These may include:

antihistaminescalamine lotiontopical steroidsantibiotics

You deserve to also try these home remedies because that scabies.

To death mites and also prevent gaining scabies again, the American Academy of Dermatology also recommends that you to wash all clothing, bedding, and also towels, and also vacuum your whole home, consisting of upholstered furniture.

Mites don’t usually survive much longer than 48 to 72 hours off a person and also will dice if exposed to a temperature that 122°F (50°C) because that 10 minutes.


just how long is the contagious?

If did you do it never had actually scabies before, her symptoms could take four to six weeks to begin appearing. However if you’ve had actually scabies, you’ll typically an alert symptoms within a few days. Scabies is contagious, even before you notice symptoms.

Mites deserve to live top top a human for as long as one to two months, and scabies is transmittable until treated. The mites should begin to die within a few hours of applying the treatment, and most world can return to job-related or school 24 hrs after treatment.

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Once scabies is treated, your rash may proceed for three or four an ext weeks. If girlfriend still have actually a rash four weeks ~ completing treatment or a new rash develops, see your doctor.