Occupational Health & Infectious Disease
Risk Management, Portland, OR 5/7/13
What is Scabies?
Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny burrowing mite. As the mite burrows into your skin, it leads to intense itching in that area. The mites can burrow anywhere on your body.
Signs & Symptoms
- Severe itching that is usually worse at night-time
- Thin, irregular burrow tracks made up of tiny blisters or bumps on your skin
Is Scabies contagious?
YES! Scabies is contagious and can be spread quickly through close physical contact.
The mites can burrow anywhere on your body.
- Between fingers
- In armpits
- Around the waist
- Shoulder blades
- Inner elbow
- Palms of the hands
- Soles of the feet
- Genital area
How do you prevent Scabies?
- Avoid infected people
- Thoroughly wash all clothing and linens
- If items cannot be washed, place in a sealed plastic bag for a couple of weeks. This will starve them and they will die.
How do you treat Scabies?
Scabies is treated with medications applied to your skin. These medications are in the form of creams and lotions. You apply the medication over your whole body, from the neck down, and leave it on for at least 8 hours. The medication kills the mites and their eggs. After treatment, you may still feel itchy for several weeks.
If you live with roommates or family members, your doctor may recommend treatment for them as well, even if they do not show signs or symptoms of having Scabies. This will help prevent the spread of Scabies.
Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Scabies. http://www.mayoclinic.com/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Scabies. http://www.cdc.gov/