Scabies can be transmitted from one person to another. It can spread over elbows, webs of fingers, wrists, armpits etc. The common symptom is itchy rashes and the formation of burrows. Scabies can spread through skin contact only, making it a contagious disease.
Oral medication and various creams, lotions and gels are prescribed by physician to treat Scabies. If the infection is mild then some home remedies can also work. However, one can try to prevent scabies by avoiding certain things.
How Long Is Scabies Contagious?
One of the most popular questions of persons affected with scabies, is “how long is scabies contagious for?”
This is because there is a popular myth associated with most skin diseases, that is, that skin diseases are caused due to unhygienic practices. Even though this is a completely baseless myth that has been propagated over time, it is pretty popular. Hence, most people are embarrassed when they suffer from a skin condition like scabies
What Is Scabies?
Sarcoptes scabiei is the name of the microbe that causes scabies. It lodges itself into the upper layers of the skin of humans and lays its eggs there. This is how the infection begins. The skin reacts by trying to expel the foreign substances. This causes the characteristic rash that is the main symptom of scabies.
How Can One Contract Scabies?
Scabies is a contagious disease. The good news is that it takes a long time for an infected person to transmit the disease to another. The contact between the infected person and the other person should be for a prolonged period of time, only then is it possible to contract the disease.
Another way scabies can spread is from direct exposure to the microbe. This is a more popular way of spread of this skin disease.
How Long Is Scabies Contagious?
This is an ambiguous question as there is no time frame that can be placed on the infection. It should be noted, however, that it requires a minimum of 10 -15 itch mites for the infection to develop.
A person who already displays symptoms of scabies is contagious and can pass on the infection to other people.
You should also keep in mind that if a person has somehow already contracted the disease, but is not yet displaying symptoms of it, he will still be contagious for the same and can pass on the infection to those who come in contact with him.
How Does Scabies Spread
The most common form of spread of this skin disease is via direct skin contact. Listed below are a few ways that scabies may be picked up from an infected person:
- Sharing a bed with an infected person
- Handling the personal belongings of an infected person, like his clothes or bedding
- Carrying an infected person, eg, carrying a baby who has been infected by scabies
- Sexual contact with an infected person
Symptoms Of Scabies
The symptoms of scabies include:
- Itchy rash
- Formation of burrows in and around the rash area
- Tiny blisters in clusters
- Formation of pinkish-brown nodules in children
Common Sites Of Scabies Infection
If you have a rash in one or more of the following areas, you can suspect scabies:
- Webs of the fingers
Treatment For Scabies
- Creams and Lotions – There are a few popular creams, lotions, and gels that are prescribed by physicians and dermatologists:
- 5% permethrin cream
- 25% benzyl benzoate lotions
- 10% sulfur ointment
- 10% crotamiton cream
- 1% lindane lotion
Oral medications may be prescribed in the form of oral solutions if the symptoms are particularly bothersome or the infection is advanced:
- Antihistamines eg, benadryl
- Steroid creams
Home Remedies For Scabies
You may try home remedies for scabies if the infection is mild or if you have just noticed it. You should keep in mind that if there is no improvement over 4 weeks, it is best to see a doctor. Here are a few home remedies that might work for scabies:
- Tea tree oil
- Aloe vera gels or creams
- Capsaicin creams
- Essential oils
- Sulfur infused soaps and creams
Is It Possible To Prevent Scabies?
It is impossible to ensure that scabies never gets to you, however, you may be able to keep this skin infection at bay by following a few tips:
- Avoid personal contact with persons you do not know too well.
- Avoid contact with an infected person.
- If someone in your home has scabies, get tested for it at the earliest and also practice isolation from the infected persons for a minimum of 4 weeks.
- Be especially careful in crowded places like schools, nursing homes, gymnasiums, etc.
- Avoid sharing your personal items with strangers, like make-up, utensils, handbags, etc.
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