What Causes Scabies

Scabies Mite (Sarcoptes Scabiei)

What causes scabies is a tiny eight-legged mite officially known as Sarcoptes scabies. The mite tunnels beneath the skin, where it feeds upon the blood of its host. Female mites lay eggs beneath the skin and the mites can live for a few months on their human host. Scabies typically causes intense itching and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Scabies is a highly contagious condition. What causes scabies to spread is close personal contact with someone else that has the condition. If you are close to someone that has it, chances are you will soon have it, too. More pronged contact increases your risk of catching scabies, but you can get it from something as simple as shaking hands with someone that has it. You can also get scabies if you wear clothing recently worn by someone with the condition or if you use towels or bed linens recently used by someone with scabies.  

Doctors typically recommend that if one family member has scabies, everyone in the house should get treatment because it spreads so easily. You can have the mites for several weeks before symptoms appear, so even if you have no symptoms, you should get treatment if someone that lives in your home has the condition.

The Cause of Scabies Symptoms

The most common symptoms of scabies are tiny red bumps on the skin and intense itching. The itching often seems worse at night. These symptoms are a result of an allergic reaction to the feces of the mites deposited beneath your skin. The tiny red bumps are not bitten marks but the result of your immune system reacting to the presence of the mites under your skin.

Sometimes when you have scabies, you can see very thin red or skin-colored lines on the skin, which looks a little bit like a road map. These lines indicate where the mites have been tunneling beneath your skin.  

Both the scabies rash and these fine lines are typically seen in areas like the crooks of your elbows, the backs of your knees, under your neck, and under your breasts. The skin reaction is often more severe in small children and elderly people.

Because the scabies rash is usually extremely itchy, people often scratch the affected areas. Unfortunately, this can cause scabies to spread to other areas of the body and can also lead to sores on the skin and sometimes infection.

What Doesn’t Cause Scabies

As important as it is to understand what causes scabies, it’s also important to understand what doesn’t cause the condition. Having a dirty home does not cause scabies. Your home can be immaculate and you can still catch scabies from someone that has it. Likewise, not bathing often enough is not a cause of scabies. You can bathe daily and have very good hygiene and still catch scabies from someone that has the condition. You can’t get rid of it by bathing normally, either, since the mites burrow under your skin where they can’t be washed away.

You should also know that you cannot get scabies from pets. The scabies mite only lives on humans. Animals can get other kinds of mites, but not scabies.

Treating What Causes Scabies

To treat scabies, it’s important to relieve symptoms, especially the intense itching, while also killing the mites that cause the symptoms. If you only treat the symptoms but don’t kill the mites, you’ll only experience temporary relief.

We like using natural treatments when possible because they do the job without the risk of serious side effects. Many of the prescription medications used to treat scabies contain pesticides, which can have undesirable side effects. Some medications used to treat scabies, such as lindane, can cause skin irritation, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, and even seizures. Natural treatments may not be right for everyone and we recommend talking to your doctor if you have questions about the best way to treat your scabies. If you’re interested in a safe, effective natural treatment for scabies, however, we’ve found one we can recommend.

Naturasil offers a homeopathic treatment for scabies, made from natural plant extracts. It’s a liquid that is absorbed through the skin, like many prescription treatments for scabies, and kills the mites. Naturasil also offers a skin cream and soap that can help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of scabies. To learn more about our preferred natural treatment for scabies, just follow the link.

Additional Reading:

Getting Scabies Relief – Comparison of home remedies, prescription medications and natural treatments.

Pictures of Scabies – What scabies looks like. Normal scabies and crusted scabies photos.

Post Scabies Syndrome – After the mites are dead you can still have symptoms for up to six weeks.

Scabies Scars – Ways to prevent scarring. Post scabies treatment if you have scars.

Ref: NIH