Have Scabies? Facts You Need to Know

Scabies is often misunderstood.  Once thought to be an STD, we know now that it can contracted anywhere people live in close contact.  Symptoms are often misdiagnosed.  Treatment plans can be strange.  Here are some true facts about the disease.

Scabies is very contagious, and very common.  It lives for three days without a human host, so you don’t need to have contact with someone who has the mite.  You just need to touch something they have touched.

During the first few weeks of infection, most people do not have any scabies symptoms.  Then, you start to experience a bumpy red rash. Most people also have extreme itching that worsens during the night when the mite is more active.

In order to confirm that it is scabies, do this last test at home.  With a magnifying glass, examine your skin closely. If you see raised white lines, you could have scabies.  Looking at pictures of scabies can help you better understand what to look for.

After you get a definite diagnosis, you need to seek scabies treatment.  The best form of treatment is prescription creams.  These are the most effective.  Pills do not work as well, with only a 70% success rate.  Home remedies are iffy at best, and dangerous at worse.

Once you have a prescription, make sure you follow the doctor’s orders.  They will vary based on the strength of the cream and the brand used. Generally, you need to apply it all over at least once a day for seven to ten days.  Some also must be applied to the scalp and face.

You will want to rid your home of the scabies mite at the same time.  It can help if everyone goes through treatment at once.  Also, wash linens in hot water and dry them on high heat.  You also may want to use Lysol on surfaces to get rid of the mite.