Human Scabies Infestation: Diagnosis and Treatment - OnlineDermClinic
What Is Scabies, and How Does It Spread? Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and More
How Is Scabies Spread, and How Can I Avoid It?
Scabies is contagious, and it’s usually spread by having direct, prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an affected person. (2) The exposure generally has to be sustained: As the CDC notes, a handshake or hug typically doesn’t spread the mites, but holding hands for 5 or 10 minutes can. (The exception is crusted scabies, where even very brief contact with an infested person can transmit the mites.) In adults, scabies is often spread through sexual encounters. (1) And it’s easily spread within households.
While the mites live for one to two months on human skin, they can survive for up to four days in inanimate objects such as bed sheets, clothing, and towels. Less commonly, scabies can occur through contact with an infested item. This kind of indirect infection more frequently occurs in people who have crusted scabies. (1)
Scabies are not spread to people from pets. Pets can become infested with animal mites, and these can be passed along to humans. But animal mites can’t reproduce on a person, and even if they get under a person’s skin, they’ll die within a couple of days. (1) It’s important to treat your pets, though, if they acquire mites.
According to the CDC, getting scabies from swimming in a pool is “extremely unlikely.” In most cases of scabies, excluding crusted scabies, an infested person only has 10 to 15 mites on their body, and the chances that a mite would emerge from beneath wet skin are very low. (1) Still, although uncommon, you could spread scabies by sharing a towel with an infested person.
Video: Scabies: Diagmosis, Treatment, Prevention
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