Contagious, extremely itchy – Scabies is a skin disorder that leads to rashes. The disorder is caused by an infestation with a parasite called the scabies mite. These mites survive on the skin and burrows into it to lay eggs.
Who Gets Scabies?
Anyone can get scabies! You too can get it. Because skin-to-skin contact is the most common way to get the infestation, the following people are especially susceptible:
- Mothers of young children.
- Family members.
- Sexually active young adults.
- Residents of nursing homes, extended-care facilities, and assisted-living residences.
- People with a weakened immune system. This can increase the risk of getting scabies greatly. The elderly and people who have a weak immune system due to disease such as HIV/AIDS, lymphoma, or leukemia are highly susceptible. People who received an organ transplant also have a higher risk.
- Allergic people, for example, if you’re sensitive to dust, mites, etc. you are also at high risk.
Scabies is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact. The scabies mites are spread by touch. Every carrier can transmit the mites, by direct contact like handshake, etc. Although, not everyone will necessarily catch them, scabies is still very contagious.
Scabies can spread when people do not have any signs or symptoms. A person who has never had scabies often does not have any signs or symptoms for 2 to 6 weeks.
- Shorter Physical Contacts
If you’re hanging put with someone having Scabies, you are likely to get the infestation. Hence, you should immediately see a doctor to get diagnosed and treated just to be on the safe side. Some people, like those with allergies, react more to the parasites than others.
Hand-to-hand contact is one of the most common ways to pass the scabies mites. Say, you shake hands that little things get onto the other person's skin. When you have scabies mites on your skin, all the things or place or people you touch get prone to catch the infestation. The chances are severe when you have rashes due to itching. When you scratch your skin during itching, it is likely that some of the mite falls off with skin flaking.
- Longer Physical Contacts
Scabies are not an STD! It’s just a taboo. However it can be passed on during sex. If your partner is infested with scabies and you get involved with him/her physically, you’ll definitely contract scabies too. Even sleeping with the infected partner can cause you the infestation.
- Indirect Transmission
As known, you should not use the belongings of an individual affected by any skin ailment. The same goes with scabies. Do not share towels, bedsheets or clothes of the scabies infested person in the family. Do not mix your laundry together and keep all the bathing stuff and bedding separate from everyone you live with until the infected person gets treated completely. Even, sharing the ointments (the stuff to kill the parasites) of the infested should be strictly avoided. Clean the entire household including upholstery, furniture, bedding, mattresses, etc. thoroughly twice a week. The stuff that cannot be washed should be vacuumed. Continue this until you’re that the infestation is completely cured and that there are no sigh of further infestation or re-infestation.
Scabies is neither a disease nor a disorder; they're parasites. Horrible little monsters living in your skin causes a lot of trouble to the people, making them itch the whole night. You won't know you've caught them straight away and could pass them on to friends and family before you realize. Hence, if you're living with someone who is already infested, get treated anyway. This also means that you're not exactly a 'carrier', but a 'host'. You carry them in your skin, so you can pass them on to anyone you touch or be together with.