Scabies: Fast Facts About STDs

Fast Facts About STDs: Scabies

Name of Disease or Infection
Scabies, also known as Scabs.

Type of Disease or Infection
Parasitic infection of Sarcoptes scabiei.

How Common Is It?
The Center for Disease Control states that infestation with scabies is common, worldwide, and spreads rapidly under crowded conditions.

How Do I Get It?
Scabies are very quickly transmitted both by sexual or non-sexual contact, such as sharing towels or sleeping in the bed of an infected person. Contact must be prolonged to spread the infection.

Initial symptoms are a red, intensely itchy rash in infected areas, which can be almost anywhere on the body. It may also be possible to see small bumps resembling pimples. After infection, the mites tunnel beneath the skin to lay eggs; when the eggs hatch, the baby mites tunnel to the surface starting the whole process over. Symptoms usually occur in four to six weeks, or in a matter of days in cases of re-infection.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have It?
See your clinician or physician immediately for a microscopic inspection of the skin.

How Do I Get Rid of It?
Use a prescription or over-the-counter cream, lotion or shampoo, such as Kwell, RID, Nix, to first kill, and then comb the mites and eggs from the afflicted area. Since mites can live for over 24 hours once they leave the body, all clothes, linens, combs and other personal articles must be washed or treated.

What Happens If I Don't Treat It?
Complications from untreated scabies infections are uncommon; however, in certain parts of the world, scabies can carry various forms of disease.

Who Should I Tell?
If you have scabies, you should tell any current or very recent partners (i.e., people you had contact with over the last month). Once the infestation has been successfully treated, you do not need to tell future partners.

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