• Scabies is a painful, itchy skin condition caused by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei). Scabies is more common where people are in cramped conditions, but can happen anywhere.


    The mites that cause scabies are invisible to the human eye and are only a third of a millimeter long. The mites burrow into the top layer of skin but are visible using a magnifying glass or a microscope.


    Scabies is spread from person to person through contact. While it is not really a sexually transmitted disease, sexual partners often pass it on because of close physical contact.


    Scabies is more common in areas where there are many people. Prisons, day care centers and nursing homes are common sites of infestation.


    Once you have been diagnosed with scabies you will need to use a prescription scabies medication designed to kill both the mites and their eggs.


    In order to prevent further scabies outbreaks, the clothing, bedding and towels used by the infected person need to decontaminated. This can be done with washing in very hot water and drying in a hot dryer.


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Scabies: Risk

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Scabies: Treatment

    Medicine Net: Scabies

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