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Scabies: Contagion, symptoms and treatment

Scabies is a disease of the skin caused in the humans by the mite Sarcoptes scabies, easily contagious. The skin rashes and eruptions are the first symptoms of an infection that are primarily transmitted by direct contact with the skin.


It can appear in any area of the body, although the most frequents are in the area of the forearms, wrists, between the fingers, armpits or abdomen. What to do if there is scabies?

Symptoms of scabies

The symptoms of scabies can easily be confused with other disorders that affect the skin, so it is important to consult with the dermatologist in the slightest doubt. The first symptoms of scabies appear after an incubation period of several weeks.

The mites hide in the most superficial layer of the epidermis where they deposit the eggs that will release the larvae about 10-15 days later. The parasite that causes the infection is not visible to the naked eye, being essential to prevent infection from carefully following the rules of daily hygiene.

The intense itch is accentuated in the night, generated by the allergic reaction to the mites and their eggs, causing inflammation and rashes. The itching later scraping can accentuate the lesion on the skin.

How to scabies spread?

Scabies mite infection can occur through indirect contact with clothing, including bedding and armchairs, but especially through direct contact with the skin, even with a simple handshake.

What is Norwegian scabies?

The one known as Norwegian scabies is a more severe variant of common scabies. It is also called crusted scabies appears in people with a weak immune system and is characterized by a large number of mites and eggs present in the skin.

Treatment of scabies

For the diagnosis of scabies, it is essential to identify mites using a skin biopsy and determine the type of topical treatment (creams and lotions) to completely eliminate the presence of mites and avoid relapses. This treatment should also be performed by those who have had direct and prolonged contact with the person diagnosed with scabies.

Before applying the cream it is advisable to take a hot shower, since it favors the absorption of the active principle. It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions on the duration of treatment and its application.

In addition, since the scabies mite is a parasite that is able to survive for 24-36 hours outside the body, it is advisable to wash all the undergarments at a temperature above 50 degrees, the garments that we wear during the treatment, as well as clothes like bed linen, towels, bathrobes, mattress covers, sofa blankets … with which we may have been in contact. For this cleaning, we can use specific disinfectant products.