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Scabies

What is Scabies?

Scabies is an itchy condition of the skin caused by a tiny mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. It is estimated that more than 300 million cases of scabies occur worldwide every year. Scabies is not a result of bad personal hygiene. Scabies can occur to anyone.

What are the Symptoms of Scabies?

The most common symptoms of scabies are: night-time itching, little red bumps. In more advanced cases of scabies, the skin may be crusty or scaly.

What Causes Scabies?

Scabies is caused by a mite (Sarcoptes scabiei) which burrows under the skin. The mite is about .4mm and can be seen with the human eye. The rash and the itch are widespread and may occur on parts of the body where mites are not burrowed under the skin.

Can Scabies be Treated?

Scabies can be treated. Talk to your doctor so he can prescribe medication. The most common treatments are creams that are applied to the skin.

How is Scabies Spread?

Humans spread scabies to one another. It is often spread from one person to another by close contact.

What attracts the Scabies Mite?

A female mite is attracted to warmth and odor. The female mite burrows into the skin, lays eggs, and produces secretions that cause the skin to itch.

Scabies prefers warmer sites on the skin such as skin folds where clothing is tight. Some of the most common sites of skin are:

  • between the fingers
  • on the elbows or wrists
  • buttocks or belt line
  • around the nipples
  • on the penis

Mites might also hide in, or on, the skin under rings, bracelets or watchbands, or under the nails.

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