Is Scabies An STD? – How Do You Get Scabies?

ScabiesIs Scabies An STD? - How Do You Get Scabies?

Technically, Scabies is an STD that can be transferred from one infected person to another through prolonged sexual contact. Any protection cannot hamper the growth of microbes. Apart from that, it can be transferred to crowded places easily. There are medications and treatments available for scabies.

For preventing further re-infection, it is necessary to keep the home clean and free from microbes. It can be picked up from anywhere and once infected need proper medication, care, and cleaning to avoid transmission.

Is Scabies A Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?

Is scabies an STD? This is a frequently asked question. Yes, it is true that scabies can be classified as a sexually transmitted disease as the scabies microbes can spread via sexual contact.  So technically, one could consider scabies to be an STD.

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What Are Scabies?

The microbe Sarcoptes Scabiei is the culprit here. It is a minute organism that latches itself onto a host and borrows into its skin. Once it finds its way here, this microbe will begin to lay eggs. This is what leads to intense itching in this skin condition.

How Is Scabies Sexually Transmitted?

Is Scabies A Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?

The usual method of transfer of scabies infection is via skin-to-skin contact.  This is a minor possibility as the exposure is required to be for a prolonged period of time.  However, if one of the partners is suffering from scabies, there is a high chance that the other might contract it through repeated sexual contact over time.

It should be borne in mind that since scabies is transmitted via the skin, the usual methods of protection, like condoms, dental dams, IUDs, etc are of no use in hampering the transfer of the microbe.  It is perfect that both partners are treated for the infection if either one is diagnosed with this condition.

How Else Can Scabies Spread?

The main mode of spread of scabies is through contact so any crowded space will be a hub of the infection. Since scabies is spread via skin contact with an infected person, one should be especially careful in places like:

  • Nursing homes
  • Extended care facilities
  • Classrooms
  • Daycare centers
  • Dormitories
  • Gymnasiums 
  • Prisons
  • Public libraries
  • Public transport facilities

Treatment For Scabies

Once you have been diagnosed with scabies, your doctor will suggest the appropriate line of treatment for you.  This might include, one or more of the following:

  • Permethrin
  • Lindane
  • Crotamiton
  • Ivermectin
  • Sulfur 

These compounds might be administered in the form of ointments, gels, creams, powders, or oral solutions.

The symptoms of this infection can be controlled by the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Calamine lotion
  • Topical steroids
  • Antibiotics

Scabies might take a week to fifteen days to completely disappear. You might require repeated visits to your doctor to be able to completely eradicate the infection.

How To Deal With Scabies Infestation At Home?

Is Scabies A Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?

If you have been diagnosed with scabies, you will certainly need to make sure that your home is free of these microbes to avoid further re-infections.  Listed below are a few steps that you can take to salvage the situation:

  1. Vacuuming and cleaning up are one of the first actions you should indulge in.  This will include wiping down all surfaces and vacuuming them.  This should get rid of quite a few microbes.  Remember to empty the contents of the vacuum in a ziplock bag and dispose of it safely.  Throw away all unused items as clutter only gives room for more microbes to grow.
  2. Apply a heat treatment of your choice to bedding and sitting areas.  This can be done by using a steamer.  Make sure that you maintain a temperature of more than 140F as this will ensure that all microbes are attacked.
  3. Wash all your bedding and other cloth items with hot water and subject them to a hot dryer.  Again, aim for a temperature above 140F.  
  4. Wipe down all the surfaces of your home with an antibacterial spray or liquid to ensure that there are no remaining microbes or eggs that might start an infection again.
  5. Get professional help if you are suffering from repeated infections of scabies.

How To Prevent Re-infections Of Scabies?

Scabies is not easy to get rid of, and the sad fact is that it can reoccur as easily as they began in the first place.  

The only way to ensure that you do not have repeated infestation of the scabies microbe is to maintain vigilance.

Be aware when you visit public places like:

  • Hotels
  • Parks
  • Airplanes
  • Theaters, etc

If you live in an apartment complex, it is wise to get professional help with inspecting your apartment from time to time for microbes and other infestations.

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Closing Thoughts

Scabies can be embarrassing and cause a lot of shame and stress to the hosts.  The scabies microbe can be picked up from anywhere and it has nothing to do with hygiene.

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