What is it?

  • Scabies is an itchy skin condition that is caused by a microscopic mite.
  • Infestation with the mite is common. It effects people of all races and social status.
  • It is found worldwide.
  • Scabies is transmitted by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. This may be from a sexual partner or from living in the same household as someone who has it. A quick hug or handshake usually does not spread the infestation. Infestation may also occur with shared clothing, towels and bedding.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Symptoms may include pimple-like irritations. These sometimes occur in lines or groupings.
  • These lesions are most frequently found in warmer areas of the skin such as the webs between the fingers, the skin folds such as the elbow or wrist and around the waist.
  • Intense itching, especially at night is common.
  • Symptoms may take 4 to 6 weeks to begin after you are infested.


  • Treatment includes a prescriptive lotion that is applied to the skin. This is left on for 8 to 12 hours and washed off.
    • Itching can continue for 2 to 3 weeks after treatment. This does not mean you are still infested.
    • A second application of the lotion may be done in 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Treatment can include an antibiotic if the irritated areas have become infected with a bacteria from your skin.
  • Clothing, towels and bedding you have used should be washed in hot water.
    • Mites can live up to 72 hours away from the body.

Scabies Myths

  • You can get scabies from your animals
    • This is not true. Animals contract another form of scabies called Mange. This is rarely transmitted to humans.