Scabies Causes Pictures Prevention and Treatment

" In most people, sustained skin to skin contact is one of the primary scabies causes. In the elderly or those with a compromised immune system, a type of scabies called crusted or Norwegian Scabies can result in the condition spreading due to brief skin to skin or skin to clothing/bedding  contact. Scabies is more likely to spread where there is frequent skin to skin contact such as during sex, and in setting where people live close together, such as childcare settings and nursing homes. The mites can only be seen with the aid of a microscope. Each mite can survive for 30 days on a human, where it will lay eggs under the skin, spreading the infestation. All individuals that have come in contact with the infested individual should be treated, including family members. It takes 2 weeks to 6 weeks for symptoms to appear.Mites that are not on a human host can only live for 3 days.  Itch and rash symptoms in most cases will last for up to 2 weeks, but can last longer. Treatment involves the use of a natural topical or prescription scabicide to kill the mites with other products used to eliminate itch and to promote skin healing. If not progress is seen with natural products, be sure to see a Doctor for a prescription topical or oral medication that is formulated specifically to kill scabies and scabies eggs. Avoid scratching so that scabies are not spread to other areas of the body, and to keep bacteria from entering the skin and causing an infection. An infected person should not be touched for at least 8 hours after treatment. Human scabies mites are NOT spread by pets.   

Scabies Causes

Scabies causes can be linked to just one bug – the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. It tunnels into and under your skin, triggering uncontrollable itching. Anyone can get scabies and once one person in your house has them, they spread like wildfire, as they are highly contagious. These bugs are spread through close contact, such as sex or touching. it is not a sex related disease. For those with a first time scabies infection, you may not realize you have them until 4 to 6 weeks later when the first symptoms start to show. 

scabies cause mite
Scabies is Caused by a Mite that burrows under the first skin layer. The Mites cannot be seen without the help of a microscope or other magnifying device.
Source: Naturasil Natural Scabies Products

Scabies causes are also referred to as the seven year itch mite, the human itch mite and the scabies itch. The mites cannot be seen with the naked eye and have eight legs and a round body. Once it has burrowed under your skin, it starts laying eggs. During this process, it’s the secretions  that leak out that cause the relentless itching. Most scabies infestations only start with about 10 mites. If not treated, the number of mites multiples rapidly.

scabies causes

The Scabies Cause is an Adult Female Mite that deposits eggs after they burrow under human skin
(see left side of diagram)
Source: CDC

Scabies may be confused with body lice, bed bugs, chiggers, shingles, impetigo, ringworm, eczema or hives. 

Scabies are not spread by pets such as dogs or cats.  Dog scabies is spread by another type of mite.

Symptoms of Scabies Causes

Look for zigzag blisters or S-shaped tracks on your body. The blister is where the female laid her eggs. Strange marks in odd areas like your armpits, the webs of your fingers or toes, under nails, around the waist, the inner elbow, nipples, penis, wrists, the groin area or buttocks? Red rash? This may be scabies.

scabies rash picture
Scabies Rash on Hand

Scabies Diagnosis

Your doctor will do a test by swabbing a suspicious area that is inflamed and a skin scraping. He will be searching for the bugs themselves, their dung and eggs. There is no blood test for this disease and if the first skin scraping is not conclusive, the doctor may use a felt-tipped pen over the suspicious areas and then wipe it off. The ink will have leaked into the burrows.

Scabies Treatment

More often than not, you will need a prescription to combat scabies, but there are natural scabies remedies to try for those that want to avoid insecticide based prescription products such as those available from Naturasil.  Let your doctor know if you choose to use natural medications so that he can monitor your progress.

You should also know that the itching and rash may last for up to two weeks, even after treatment and you may need to repeat the course of medication.

Over the Counter Home Scabies Treatment (No Prescription Required)

Here are some natural scabies remedies for home use that do not require a prescription. The FDA has not tested and approved natural products for scabies, although they remain a popular way to avoid the use of prescription insecticides.  As with any product, if you see no progress after several days, be sure to see a Doctor.

  • Naturasil for Scabies and Dermisil Cream are two topical products that use plant extracts to fight scabies.  These products are made from plant extracts (chrysanthemum flower).  In prescription products, this extract is created synthetically. The manufacturer provides a 60 day guarantee for all products mentioned, providing time to judge their effectiveness.
  •  Sulfur and Lavender Soap includes these ingredients along with others such as Palm Kernel and Coconut Oil. Each ingredient has been selected based on their anti-parasitic properties.  This approach has been used for centuries and can be used along with other natural and prescription treatment methods.
  • Scab-ease is a scabies natural remedy formulated to address the symptoms associated with scabies such as itch.  It can also support the healing process.  It can be used along with the Dermisil products to promote healing.  
  • Scabies skin itch can also be addressed with over the counter antihistamines such as Phenergan, Zrytec, Atarax or Benadryl.

Scabies Treatment Methods that Require a Prescription

Here are some of the approaches that will be used by your doctor:

  • 5% permethrin cream: Permetrhin is a common insecticide used in a topical ointment at a concentration that will kill scabies mites. It is prescribed for individuals 2 years of age or older and is the treatment methods of choice. The product is applied from head to toe before going to bed. Leave on for 10 to 14 hours and wash off.  Follow directions provided by your Doctor.  Cases of Norwegian scabies (crusted scabies) requires 2 applications each week.
  • 10% Cromiton Lotion: This product (called Crotan or Eurax) is also approved by the FDA. It is not approved for children. In general the product is not considered to be as reliable as Permetrhin.
  • 1% Lindane Lotion: Lindane lotion is used after other products have failed to cure the scabies causes identified. The product is toxic when swallowed carries warnings that it should not be used with premature infants, pregnant women, breast-feeding women, those with skin sores and more.  Carefully follow your Doctor's instructions.
  • Invermectin (Stromectol): Invermectin for scabies causes is taken orally and is used particularly when an individual is suffering from crusted scabies. It is not used until other treatment methods have failed. It is taken with water on an empty stomach for 2 doses over 7 days. It is not used on children that weight less than 15 Kg or in pregnant women.  Follow your Doctors directions.
  • If the skin becomes infected, a Doctor will prescribe antibiotics in a topical or oral form. 

Scabies Prevention and Control

Although scabies mites can only live off of a human for 3 days, it is smart to clean all linen and clothes used by the infested person.  Wash in hot water followed by 20 to 30 minutes in the dryer. Clothes and linen can also be dry cleaned, or sealed in plastic for 3 days.

 Be sure to vacuum all rooms and also clean all nearby items with a miticide (also called scabicide - scabies mite killer) such as Benzarid or by spreading a natural dust product such as Fossil Shell Dust (applied in a thin layer to cracks, under furniture to kill mites naturally). If you have carpet, add some miticide to the carpet cleaner (test to make sure that products used will not harm carpet color).

It is not necessary to apply a pesticide to avoid scabies causes.

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References Scabies Causes:


Centers for Disease Control


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