Scabies, also called sarcoptic mange, is a very contagious skin condition. Tiny mites cause this condition when they burrow deeper and deeper into the skin. This is a very common condition, with more than 200,000 cases in the United States every year. Thankfully, this itchy condition is very treatable. A person with scabies will apply medication from the neck down. The patient should leave this medication on for up to eight hours. During that time, the medication completely eradicates the burrowing mites. Someone with scabies can also take an oral medication to kill the mites.
The main symptom of scabies is itching. This itching sensation can be extremely severe, with varying degrees of intensity. It does not always occur where the mites are located, meaning that a person may itch in uninfected areas. This seems to begin in one area. From there, it spreads to a larger area or even to another body part. The itching is typically worse at night. A hot shower or bath can also seem to worsen the itching. Therefore, doctors suggest that someone with scabies bathes in cool or lukewarm water temperatures for some relief.
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