Prevention & support for sexual health

Scabies

Scabies (sarcoptes scabiei hominis)

 

 

What is scabies ?

Scabies is a skin condition caused by tiny parasitic mites that feed on human blood below the top layer of the skin. The females digs burrows and lay eggs under the skin, creating scabs. Skin rashes and itching are common symptoms caused by these mites, which are not visible to the naked eye.

How do you get scabies ?

Patients are asymptomatic but contagious during the one-month incubation period, when the parasites begin to multiply.

Scabies can be transmitted by:

  • Intimate or sexual contact with an infected person;
  • Skin-to-skin contact;
  • Contact with contaminated clothing or bedding.

What are the symptoms of scabies ?

  • Itching and skin irritation, especially at night or after a hot bath.
  • Tunnels just below the surface of the skin.
  • The areas most affected are the hands, wrists, upper thighs, ankles, buttocks, between the fingers, inside the elbows, and around the genital organs.

What is the treatment for scabies ?

  • Apply medication (lotion, cream, shampoo) on the affected areas for 7 to 10 days, or as instructed.
  • Wash clothing and bedding in hot water. (Don’t forget gloves, socks, slippers, shirt sleeves and collars, comforters, sheets, etc.), Articles that cannot be washed should be placed in a sealed plastic bag for a week.)
  • Vacuum mattresses, furniture and car seats.
  • Apply insecticide on furniture. Using an anti-parasitic textile spray and leaving it on for 48 hours is an effective method of disinfestation of garments and bedding.

If there is an allergic reaction, itching may last for several days or even weeks, even with treatment.

 

Additional Information

A follow-up visit may be useful three (3) weeks after treatment to determine the effectiveness of the treatment and to ensure that no re-infection has occurred.

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