Summary: The scabies rash is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the top layer of human skin to lay eggs. This creates red bumps and an intense itching sensation.
Even though scabies is of the mite family, the treatment is a medical issue and does not require pest control treatments. Some pest control companies recommend treatments using insect growth regulators (IGRs) or knock down spray pesticides. It is important to understand that scabies mites can live in carpet, air handing duct work and on sheets, towels and any other linen that can pick up or carry human skin, but the mite cannot survive more than a couple of days without a host. Laundering sheets, linens and clothing that has come in contact with a person carrying scabies will do much to eliminate the scabies mite.
Scabies is a skin rash that appears as small, red bumps or short, dark, squiggly lines on a person's skin. The tiny mites that causes the rash digs into the top layer of human skin to lay eggs. Common places for scabies to appear are on the wrists and folds of skin between fingers on the hands. Other frequent areas are on the feet, elbows, breasts, buttocks, and genitals. It is a common infection found worldwide.
Scabies is contagious. It can be spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who is already infected. It can also be spread through sexual contact. Scabies is more easily transmitted in places where there is a lot of close skin contact like daycare centers or nursing homes.
The scabies mite is microscopic, and usually when there is a scabies infection there are fewer than ten mites on the entire body, so it can be hard to diagnose. If you or your child has been exposed to conditions where scabies is present it is recommended to get treatment immediately because symptoms take four to six weeks to develop.
The most evident symptom of scabies is a severe itch, caused by the body's reaction to the mites burrowing below the skin. The itching is usually most intense at night. The first visible signs of the infection are small red bumps that can fill with puss. Although it will be difficult, it is best not to scratch them or break them because this can lead to bacterial infection and scarring.
Scabies is often transmitted to people living in the same household by sharing towels or bed sheets. Family members or roommates living with a person who has been treated for scabies should probably also be treated. Wash all possibly infected linens in hot water. Vacuum thoroughly, and remember to throw away the vacuum bag afterwards.
If you suspect you or your child has scabies you need to consult a doctor. The doctor will take a skin sample and inspect it under the microscope for the scabies mites. If a scabies infection is present, the doctor will prescribe a cream that must be rubbed over the entire body. Currently medications available include Kwell shampoo, which contains 1% lindane and 10% crotamiton (Eurax). Do not wash your hands after applying the cream because the scabies mites are especially fond of inhabiting the folds of skin between the fingers. These preparations should be used according to a physicians instructions instructions.
There is also a new oral scabies treatment called Ivermectin, a broad spectrum anti-parasite medication. A single dose of Ivermectin has been reported to cure scabies.
02 Feb 2010, 23:41
Hey this actually was a really good article - and summarizes well what
other sources i've found. Thanks for mentioning Ivermectin too.
11 Mar 2012, 23:24
can scabies live on fleas until they come into human contact ??
12 Jul 2012, 02:53
i had this once i was told as a child that only nasty people get it but i
know differently now my story is actually pretty normal got married then me
and my husband got a puppy so when i got the puppy home i gave him a bath
then let him sleep in the bed with us the next morning we started itching
since we r very clean people i assumed it was that i missed a few fleas so
i bathed the pup again but the next day it was worse i asked my mom what it
could be after i explained the severe itching EVERYWHERE on our bodys and
she said it sound bad i should see a doctor well i looked up severe itching
first and scabies popped up so stupidly i read no futher because i thought
only really nasty people got it well the third day my husband had to come
home from work early and i was going crazy with itching so bad but we
thought we would doctor it our self with alcohol thatll kill it we
thought,nope later took a bleach bath nothing worked so finally no joke
after wanting to kill myself we went to the doc and got treated !!!
12 Jul 2012, 03:02
we had gotten scabies from the puppy and the reason i told this story is to
tell you to carefully read and understand ricks advise because i promise
for days i wanted to shave my skin off i cried constantly it was worse than
chiken pox, i had rather been beaten it is under the skin without treatment
nothing works ....if you do get it go to the doctor my pain stopped that
26 Feb 2013, 19:45
I thought my son's scabies came from his friends dog, who he wrestled and
played with, however, according to the CDC (Center for Disease control)
said the following: Animals do not spread human scabies. Pets can become
infested with a different kind of scabies mite that does not survive or
reproduce on humans but causes "mange" in animals. If an animal with
"mange" has close contact with a person, the animal mite can get under the
person’s skin and cause temporary itching and skin irritation. However,
the animal mite cannot reproduce on a person and will die on its own in a
couple of days. Although the person does not need to be treated, the animal
should be treated because its mites can continue to burrow into the
person’s skin and cause symptoms until the animal has been treated
03 May 2013, 23:40
WE TOOK IN A TINY STRAY PUPPY IN DECEMBER. BEFORE I KNEW WHAT WAS WRONG,
IT WAS TO LATE. SHE HAD SARCOPTIC MANGE. I HAD HANDLED HER, BATHED HER,
LET HER SLEEP AT MY SIDE. ABOUT 2.5 WKS LATER I HD ALL THESE ITCHY RED
BUMPS ON MY SIDE, STILL NOT KNOWING WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS. AFTER THE VET
CONFIRMED THE MANGE ISSUE, IT ALL MADE SENSE. NEEDLESS TO SAY, SINCE THEN,
I HAVE BEEN BATTLING THIS DREADFUL MITE ISSUE. I CANNOT SEEM TO GET RID OF
IT, NO MATTER WHAT I DO. I CAN'T EVEN TELL YOU KNOW MANY TIMES I HAVE USED
THE PERMETHRIN CREAM. I HAVE ALSO TAKEN THE IVERMECTIN 2 TIMES. NO
SUCCESS. I WAS MY LINEN, CLOTHES, ETC DAILY IN HOT WATER (TANK UP TO
HIGHES TEMP), VACUUM. BASICALLY KILL MYSELF TRYING TO ERADICATE IT. IT HAS
BEEN THE MOST STRESSFUL THING I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. I DON'T KNOW WHERE
TO TURN OR WHAT TO DO ANYMORE. NOT SURE HOW MUCH LONGER I CAN DEAL WITH
03 May 2013, 23:41
ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE WELCOMED! THANKS!
11 Feb 2014, 00:44
My daughter and I are using 2 cups 20 Mule Team Borax, 2 cups hydrogen
peroxide in a tub of very hot water. These mites do not like heat. We drip
dry and then cover our body with vegetable oil, head to toe. This
suffocates them. We do this twice a day. In between baths we spray
constantly with ORIGINAL SKIN SO SOFT BY AVON. WE ALSO TAKE 1 or two
garlic gels a day. This is all working and is so soothing to our bodies and
we sleep well at night. We are doing the same treatments on our Lab,
Collie, Terrier and we spray the cat with lots of Skin So Soft.lots of
work. We vacuum, wash clothes and dry all day and spray furniture with
Lysol. Also spray our shoes and the car. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Oh, by the
way, our dogs did not give to us, someone's new puppies did. Bless their
20 May 2014, 14:38
i have scabies. i own a pug. he has a white blanket. i just threw it away
because it had mites that i could clearly see crawling in it. what do i do
now? im going crazy! i treated my self twice with that rub and benedryl
and motrin. i am in pain and have scratched open wounds into my head and
back. foggers do not help either. please refer me to an exterminator. and
a dr. who specializes in the treament. this is two months that i have been
going through it.
20 Jul 2014, 03:58
How well does Diatomaceous Earth work for scabies? And if it does, how do I
use it? And is it safe to use on my body? Please help before me and my
husband go nuts. By the way I have no idea where they come from because I
clean residences for a living and my husband is a heat and air tech so
there is no telling. Grrr!
Ask the Exterminator
21 Jul 2014, 11:24
Don't do it. It's not labeled for scabies and it's not something you want
to be applying to your skin. Consult a doctor regarding scabies. It's not a
pest control issue.