Table of Contents
- Scabies facts
- What is scabies? Is scabies contagious? What causes a scabies infestation?
- How do you get scabies?
- Can you catch scabies from a dog or cat?
- In what special situations can scabies be more easily spread?
- What are risk factors for scabies?
- What does scabies rash look like? What are scabies symptoms and signs?
- What does scabies feel like?
- How do health care professionals diagnose a scabies infestation?
- What types of health care professionals treat scabies?
- What are treatment options and home remedies for a scabies infestation? What are scabies treatments for pregnant women?
- What are treatment options and home remedies for a scabies infestation? (Part 2)
- What are treatment options and home remedies for a scabies infestation? (Part 3)
- Are cases of scabies often misdiagnosed?
- What are possible health complications of scabies?
- What is Norwegian or crusted scabies?
- Can a scabies infestation be prevented?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for scabies?
How do you get scabies?
Scabies is very contagious, and direct skin-to-skin contact is the mode of transmission. Scabies mites are very sensitive to their environment. They can only live off of a host body for 24-36 hours under most conditions. Transmission of the mites involves close person-to-person contact of the skin-to-skin variety, so risk factors include close contact with an infested person. It is hard, if not impossible, to catch scabies by shaking hands, hanging your coat next to someone who has it, or even sharing bedclothes that had mites in them the night before. Sexual physical contact, however, can transmit the disease. In fact, sexual contact is the most common form of transmission among sexually active young people, and scabies has been considered by many to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, other forms of physical contact, such as a mother hugging a baby, are sufficient to spread the mites. Over time, close friends and relatives can contract it this way, too. School settings typically do not provide the level of prolonged personal contact necessary for transmission of the mites.