Data Researched and Written by
Senior Scientist, Staples Inc.
Scabies is a contagious and communicable skin irritation and is caused by a very tiny mite, SARCOPTES SCABIEI or “itch mite”. It has been labeled by an age-old nickname “the seven-year itch”. These mites are about the size of the dot at the end of this sentence. They are gray in color and nearly transparent. The mite is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact between people. Mites can also shed onto clothes, towels, pillows, bedding and furniture. The mites do not survive more than a few days without body contact.
Treatment usually consists of an application of a crème or lotion containing the scabies-killing insecticide. The drug of choice is 5% permethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid sold under the prescription drug named, Elimite. One application of permethrin is usually curative. Other alternative drugs are Crotamiton-10% sold under the prescription drug name, Eurax or lindane sold under the prescription drug names, Kwell or Scabene. A total body application should be made from the neck down. Scabies rarely affects the heads of children or adults, but could occur in infants. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS PROVIDED WITH THE LOTION OR CRÈME.
Ways to Control the Spread of Scabies
Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)