Scabies is caused by mites. These are parasites that look like microscopic insects. They burrow into the skin to lay their eggs there. Scabies is mainly found in the warm, wet areas of the body, such as the armpits, buttocks, genitals, nipples, chest, folds of skin between the fingers, wrists, ankles, and under the nails. It doesn’t affect the face. The mites can survive for 3 days outside the human body.
Scabies can be transmitted during sexual contact, by means of simple direct contact (skin to skin) with an infected person or by indirect contact with contaminated objects (sheets, towels, clothing, personal hygiene items, toilet seats, etc.). Having been infected with scabies once doesn’t prevent you from catching it again.
Scabies causes intense itching, especially at night. Red patches or spots can also appear on the skin. It’s highly contagious and it has been increasing in the population in recent years.
Screening and treatment 🔍
Screening is done during a medical examination. The symptoms are visible to the naked eye but the diagnosis can be difficult.
Scabies is treated with specialized lotions sold over the counter in drugstores. It’s important to repeat the treatment 7 days after the first treatment to eliminate all the eggs. It’s also important to wash all clothing and linen that has been in direct contact with the infected person. Sexual partners and all other people living with the infected person must be treated at the same time.
To prevent scabies from spreading, infected people must avoid physical contact with others throughout the treatment. They must also avoid sharing their clothing, towels, or personal hygiene items.