What is Scabies?
Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrow into the skin.
These mites like warmth and smell and feed using their mouth parts and front legs to dig into the epidermis. Here, they lengthen their burrows by about 0.5mm a day, and the females lay eggs inside the burrow. The larvae hatch from eggs after 3 or 4 days and travel to the surface of the skin, where they mature into adult mites.
Scabies can be passed on through skin to skin contact, sexual contact, and shared clothing, towels and bedding with an infected person.
How common is Scabies?
Scabies is widespread in countries with a high population density like Africa, Egypt, Central and South America and India.
Outbreaks of scabies can occur in developed countries, in places like schools, nurseries and nursing homes. It is difficult to estimate the exact number of these because many people treat them over the counter.
What are the symptoms of Scabies?
The main symptoms of scabies are intense itching, particularly at night, and a skin rash.
How is Scabies treated?
Scabies can be treated with creams to get rid of the scabies, as well as creams to help reduce the itching. It is also necessary to wash all clothes, bed linens and towels above 50 degrees to prevent future infection.
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