Scabies

Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. It is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. 

Also know as: Mites, Seven-year itch

How You Get It:

  • Vaginal, anal or oral sex and genital touching with someone who has scabies
  • Prolonged skin-to-skin contact with the affected area
  • Scabies can spread rapidly under close conditions

Symptoms:

  • Shows up 2-6 weeks after infection
  • Intense itching in the affected area
  • Pimple-like rash
  • A person can spread scabies before symptoms are present

Prevention: Scabies can be prevented by abstaining from sexual contact and close contact with an infected person and not participating in sexual contact and close contact with someone while scabies are still present. 

Testing: Scabies is diagnosed with a visual exam of the rash and existance of burrows. The scabies mite burrows into the top layer of the skin where it lives and lays eggs. It may be confirmed by identifying the mite. 

Treatment:

  • Shaving the pubic area will not get rid of scabies mites and they may burrow further into the skin
  • Scabicides that are only available through a doctor’s prescription
  • Wash all clothing, towels and bedding that the infected person used up to three days before diagnosis in very hot water (130 degrees) and on the hot dryer setting
  • Items that cannot be laundered can be dry cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks
  • Avoid sexual contact until treatment is complete

If left untreated:

  • Will continue to spread it to sex partners
  • ​If the infected person itches profusely, scabs and scratches may occur
  • The break in the skin from the scratches can cause a secondary bacterial infection

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