Scabies is an infestation of the skin caused by a mite, an insect-like creature that is not visible to the eye, except through a microscope. The only manifestations of the scabies disease are itching and a rash. Scabies is a highly contagious skin disease and can produce epidemics within communities, boarding schools, households, etc. Only brief, casual contact with an individual who is infested with mites is required for transmission. Personal hygiene and cleanliness are not related to getting scabies. Individual sensitivity to the mites vary greatly among persons; one person with scabies may suffer unbearable itching, while some will find they itch little to none with scabies.
What treatments are available?
- Using a scabicide, a prescription that can be prescribed by Dr. Myers, can cure scabies when used as instructed.
- It is not uncommon to experience mild, temporary stinging, burning, or itching after applying the cream that can last for several hours after application. These symptoms will disappear without treatment. It is normal for the itching of the Scabies rash to increase for a day or two after the application of the prescription cream.
- Even after complete scabies treatment, affected individuals MAY continue feeling itchy for several weeks. This is a common symptom of dead mites in the skin. Itching skin does not mean a patient still has scabies. Therefore, continue treatment by using anti-itch cream (such as a prescription or non prescription topical steroid) or Benadryl as needed.
- Be sure to launder all bed linens and clothes worn during the preceding 2 days. Dislodged scabies mites can survive for over 1 day off a person. Items not easily laundered such as children’s bed toys, electric or wool blankets, and other items should be put inside an air-tight plastic bag for at least 36 hours. Furniture, carpets, and pets do not need to be specially handled.
- Scabies are very contagious and commonly affect more than one member in a family. Every member of the family or household should be treated, whether they itch or not. Treatment for all persons should take place at the same time so as to extinguish the scabies all together.
Dr. David Myers
Dr. David Myers is a board certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery. His expertise and attention to detail make him a trusted doctor in his community.