Scabies: Causes, Signs & Treatment Options

Scabies is a type of skin rash that can cause severe discomfort. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that any a given point in time, 200 million people in the world are suffering from scabies. Although the condition is most common in hot tropical climates and among people who live in crowded conditions, anyone can develop scabies. Because the condition is highly contagious, being able to recognize the signs of scabies is important for your health. In this post, we explore those key symptoms while also discussing the causes of the infection and introducing some of the most common treatments for scabies.

What Causes Scabies?

Scabies is caused by a tiny mite. Females burrow inside human skin and make tunnels to create safe places to lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae come to the surface of the skin. There, they reach maturity. Someone who has adult mites on their skin can spread scabies to others. Normally, transmission occurs due to prolonged skin-to-skin contact rather than through quick interactions like brief hugs or handshakes.

As a result, scabies most often spreads among romantic partners or from adults to children or elderly people that they care for. Scabies may also spread indirectly if you come in contact with an item that is contaminated with the mites. This often occurs from sharing clothing, towels, or bedding with people who have active scabies infections.

Continue reading on the next page to discover the signs of scabies, and see what the possible treatment options are.