What Causes Scabies

You may be wondering what causes scabies. Scabies is caused by a tiny eight-legged mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite burrows under your skin and feeds on your blood. Scabies causes an allergic reaction in which you will break out in tiny bumps on your skin and suffer intense itching that usually gets worse at night. You can usually also see thin red lines that indicate where the mites have been tunneling beneath your skin.

Some people wonder if what causes scabies can also cause an allergic reaction in their pets, but the mites that cause scabies only infest humans. Other types of mites can infest your pets, though.

Now that you know the cause of scabies, you probably want to know how to keep from catching them. Scabies is a highly contagious condition. Sometimes something as simple as shaking hands with someone that has scabies is all it takes for you to get it. The mites are primarily spread by close physical contact with someone that has the condition but sometimes they are spread by sharing towels or bedding with someone that has them.

Avoid physical contact with anyone that has scabies if you can. If someone in your house gets scabies, everyone that lives there should get treatment in order to prevent the condition from spreading.

Once you understand what causes scabies, it’s easy to see why you need to get treatment for the condition as soon as possible. The mites lay eggs under your skin and multiply and spread. The longer you wait to get treatment, the worse your condition will get. The mites will not go away without treatment.

Over-the-counter remedies for things like head lice will not kill the mites that cause scabies. Neither will over-the-counter treatments for rashes, such as Calamine lotion. Those may lessen the itching that scabies causes, but they won’t kill the mites and cure the condition.

There are prescription skin creams that kill the mites that cause scabies, but those do not relieve the itching scabies causes and in fact might make it worse. The itching can continue for a few weeks after treatment. The prescription skin creams have not been proven safe or effective for children and it is unknown if they can be passed to a child through breast milk, so breastfeeding women are usually advised not to use them.

There are also prescription pills that kill the mites that cause scabies, but those do not relieve the itching scabies causes, either. The oral prescription medication for scabies can cause a number of unpleasant side effects, although not everyone that takes it experiences all the possible side effects. Some possible side effects include dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women are usually advised not to take pills for scabies.

If you’re concerned about the possible side effects of prescription skin creams and oral medication for scabies, you might prefer to try a natural treatment for the condition.

See a doctor if you have additional questions about what causes scabies or what type of treatment might work best for you.

Additional Reading:
Follow these links for more information on what causes scabies, the scabies symptoms, what does scabies look like, and a discussion on treatment for scabies. We also review scabies natural treatment, over the counter scabies treatment, and prescription medication such as permethrin scabies treatment. One popular home remedy for scabies is tea tree oil scabies treatment. Read our review to see if its safe and effective. We also recommend one natural scabies treatment. Just follow the links to learn more.

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