Scabies is a contagious disease. It’s not wrong to say that it’s a highly contagious disease which spreads very quickly from one person to another. While direct skin contact is the primary way in which scabies mites can be transferred from one person to another, there are chances of spreading it through use of common belongings also. One can pick up scabies from an infected person through use of clothing, sharing bedding or even using a common towel or furniture. So, how you are staying with your roommate and what types of things you are sharing can define if you can be infected or not.
Scabies is cause by a mite called the Sarcoptes scabiei commonly known as the itch mite. This is an eight-legged might, which is very small to see with naked eyes. Scabies is infested when these mites burrow under the top layer of the skin and begin to breed and feed in there. The skin reacts to these unwanted members and this is when itching begins, and one can confirm that they have acquired scabies. Generally it takes anywhere between two to six weeks for an infested person to begin experiences scabies symptoms.
Scabies symptoms largely include small red, watery rashes and intense itching (itching is most intense at nights). The itching as a result of scabies infestation begins about a month after a person has become infested. So, it’s not possible for the infested person to know he is getting scabies beforehand, and also people around cannot start maintaining distance until they know their roommate has scabies. There are chances then that in the period when scabies mites were beginning to creep into your roommate’s body, they have also transferred to you.
Where can you see scabies and who can get it?
Scabies shows up first in between the fingers and toes, in the groin area, around the waist, on the neck, shoulder blades or between the elbow and knee folds.
Everyone is vulnerable to scabies and anyone can get it. It can be infested by people of all age groups and all hygiene levels. Scabies can spread from one person to another, so if you are sharing a room with someone with scabies, you are at high risk of getting scabies unless you are careful.
If you are sharing a room with scabies infected person there are a few things that you need to keep in mind so that you don’t pick up the mites.
- Do not have any kind of skin contact with the infested person
- So not share bedding, clothing or towel with the person carrying scabies mites
- Try and keep separate furniture for the person with scabies
- Everyone living around a person with scabies should undergo treatment
Good news is scabies can be easily treated, if detected well in time. Dermatologist can suggest you anti scabies creams, lotions or oral medication depending on the intensity of scabies acquired.