How Does Scabies Spread?


Scabies is a skin infestation of a type of mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. These are tiny, almost invisible creatures that burrow into the upper layer of the skin and cause intense itching. From there, they lay eggs and excrete waste. The main symptom is itching, but there may also be a pimple-like rash.

Scabies can spread quickly under ideal conditions. A person who has not been previously exposed to scabies and who has not recently taken antibiotics or corticosteroids is most at risk.

Scabies is an infestation by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites burrow into the skin, causing intense itching and sores that look like pimples or blisters. The rash can be anywhere on the body but tends to be in folds of skin (waist, armpits, groin).

Scabies is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. It can also be spread by sharing bedding, towels, or clothing of someone who has scabies. Scabies is more common among people living in crowded conditions (for example, nursing homes or prisons).


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