Scabies Overview

Scabies can't be considered an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) or STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) because contrary to some beliefs it is neither a virus or a bacterial infection it's actually tiny parasitic mites called Sarcoptes scabei that live on and under your skin.

The scabies mite is very small, but not microscopic and live for around one month on your body. If a Scabies mite falls off of you, such as onto a bedspread they can live up to 48 hours without being attached to a human host body.

Also known as "body lice" Scabies is easily transmittable from person to person simply through the touching or rubbing of skin. Scabies outbreaks are often highest in places where there are many people grouped together closely such as schools, camps, jails and prisons because of the constant and unavoidable contact between people. Also, families living together often end up spreading Scabies to each other through sharing of blankets, sheets, towels, and couches.

Having Scabies doesn't mean you are a dirty person the body lice actually prefer a cleaner host opposed to a dirty one. There are no certain types of people that can become infected with scabies. The old the young the rich and the poor are all at the same risk. Other than avoiding all human contact for the rest of your life there are few things you can do to protect yourself and family from catching Scabies.

Scabies Symptoms Do I Have Scabies?

Scabies symptoms are pretty easy to detect when you are infested with the body lice. The first thing you will probably notice is intense itching all over your body, but mostly in more sensitive areas like armpits in between your toe's and in your genital areas.

Other Scabies symptoms include:


  • An unusual rash
  • Itchy pimples or bumps
  • Open wounds
  • Bleeding

Scabies Symptoms usually start within three to six weeks after being infected with the tiny body lice. It may start with mild irritation, like if you are slightly allergic to a new soap, and then you will experience greater irritation and itching. When most people actually start wondering, what's going on? That's when Scabies has spread and made their home present. After that point, the symptoms should remain the same for a few more weeks until becoming a more serious problem.

What do Scabies Look Like? Scabies Pictures and Scabies Rash Pictures

Scabies on ToesScabies Under MicroscopeScabies Under MicroscopeScabies Rash on Stomach
Scabies Rash on FeetScabies on HandScabies on WristScabies up Close

Gone untreated Scabies can get worse in time as the mites reproduce and increase in numbers. Cases of Scabies can get serious and create scabs from the Scabies burrowing into the skin and the hosts unnecessary scratching the areas to the point of bleeding.

Scabies Cures Treatments and Diagnosis

Diagnosing Scabies is usually done by a simple visual test by your doctor by looking at the rash or burrows created by Scabies or Body lice. You can also have a sample of your skin in an irritated area tested for the parasite. Generally a visual scabies test is enough to diagnose the body mite but further Scabies testing may be done upon your request or if your doctor thinks it may be necessary.

Scabies is easily treated and cured with different creams and lotions you can get either prescribed by your doctor or at local drugstores and pharmacies. Even after treatment rashes bumps and scabs will still be present until fully healed. While healing, it is normal to still experience itching and irritation. This doesn't mean that you are still infected with Scabies it simply means your skin is healing. Although if it persists for more than a couple of weeks you should see your doctor again because it could mean that you haven't completely gotten rid of the parasitic mite or may have a bacterial infection from scabbing.

Related Scabies Videos


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This page was last checked for accuracy on May, 14th 2015

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