Scabies - How it's Contracted

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How do you get scabies?

Direct skin-to-skin contact is the mode of transmission. Scabies mites are very sensitive to their environment. They can only live off of a host body for 24-36 hours under most conditions. Transmission of the mites involves close person-to-person contact of the skin-to-skin variety. It is hard, if not impossible, to catch scabies by shaking hands, hanging your coat next to someone who has it, or even sharing bedclothes that had mites in them the night before. Sexual physical contact, however, can transmit the disease. In fact, sexual contact is the most common form of transmission among sexually active young people, and scabies has been considered by many to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, other forms of physical contact, such as mothers hugging their children, are sufficient to spread the mites. Over time, close friends and relatives can contract it this way, too. School settings typically do not provide the level of prolonged personal contact necessary for transmission of the mites.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Becky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

Treating scabies is easy. Permethrin, hot water and high heat drying of laundry. The mites will die within 48 to 72 hours without a host. Dogs have a mite called the mange mite. It can get on you but it does not survive or multiply on human hosts and the scabies mites like humans, but will not survive on animals (different body temperatures). I have not been sexually active for years and I live alone. You can get them from sitting in a seat from another person. If that were not true then why would you need to wash all your bed sheets and clothes? That makes me very angry because it is not just an STD because why would daycares and nursing homes have scabies outbreaks! I drive a truck and we slip seat trucks. That means we do not get the same truck each day. I now spray the seats with Rid spray and cover it with a plastic seat cover. Yes it is contagious and you can get it from sources other than human contact.

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Comment from: Outoftheblue, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 09

I believe I got it from my 6 year old son who lives with his mother. She mentioned he was itching around the last week of March. After looking at him on April 4th and searching online I quickly came to think scabies. The burrows and tiny skin colored bumps in a line were present. I finally went back to the same doctor on June 5th because the itching got to the point where I was unable to sleep at night and the doctor believes it was scabies. He prescribed permethrin cream for me and my son.

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