What Is Scabies?

Scabies is a mite causes this common skin condition.  It is also called the human itch mite, this eight-legged bug is so small that you cannot see it on the skin. People get scabies when the mite burrows into the top layer of skin to live and feed. When the skin reacts to the mite, an extremely itchy rash develops.

This mite can travel from the infected person to another person. Most people get scabies from direct, skin-to-skin contact. Less often, people pick up mites from infested items such as bedding, clothes, and furniture. The mite can survive for about 48 to 72 hours without human contact. Worldwide, there are millions of cases of scabies each year.

Signs & Symptoms: Some people have a widespread, red scaly rash and others have almost no visible sign of infection. The most common symptom is a rash that itches intensely, especially at night. The rash can be anywhere on your body but is usually on the hands, breasts, genital area, waistline, armpits and feet in children.

Prevention: Scabies is difficult to prevent if you come into contact with an infected person or environment. Personal hygiene and keeping a clean environment may be helpful. Anybody can get scabies. Scabies is spread from one person to another by close physical contact. Family members, children at school and sexual partners can spread scabies. Everyone living with a person who has scabies needs to be treated.

Treatment Options: A topical prescription medication is most commonly used to treat scabies. Proper application, along with washing clothing, towels and bed linens in hot water, should get rid of the mites. Everyone in the household should be treated at the same time. Your doctor may prescribe Elimite (permethrin) 5% cream. Leave the cream on overnight for 8-12 hours. Reapply the cream immediately if you wash any treated area during that time. Elimite is effective at treating scabies, although itching and a rash often persists up to 3 weeks following treatment. One treatment usually cures the condition and most people are no longer contagious. Your doctor may ask you to re-treat yourself in one week. If you still have itching one month after treatment, call your doctor.

To diagnose and treat, call us today! 610-789- SKIN(7546) to schedule a personalized consultation.