Scabies is a very common disease in many parts of the world. It’s the result of a mite called the Sarcoptes scabiei that lays its eggs under the skin where it reproduces. Upon hatching, the mites crawl on the skin, causing a rash to appear on the skin in the attempt to make new homes.
scabies rash is very itchy, which means a person with it will scratch
continuously. Adults and children – male and female – can be
affected by the disease. While most don’t think of it as a sexually
transmitted disease, that’s, in fact, what it is. After all, the
mites transfer during sexual contact.
has an incubation period of four to six weeks for the initial
infection. Subsequent infections tend to result in nearly immediate
symptoms. The disease is spread via sexual and non-sexual
skin-to-skin contact. This means bedding of an infected person can
lead to an infection of a non-infected person.
populations can also cause scabies to spread – think prisons,
displaced people camps, mental homes, nursing homes and orphanages.
Since the disease stays within a family unit, dorms or daycare
centers, it’s advised not to share clothes and blankets to reduce
the chances of spreading mites in case a person is infected.
is recognized by the intense itching and scratching, which is worse
after a hot bath or shower or at night in bed. You could also see
silvery lines under the skin (these are burrow markings). Itching can
be seen between the fingers, ankles, elbows, wrists, genital area,
under the breasts and shoulders. A person infected with scabies will
have scratch marks, flattened/raised burrows and tiny papules. The
initial rash may become infected that leads to bigger bumps, which is
usually the result of an allergic reaction.
treatment for scabies is to use anti-scabies lotion and to avoid any
type of contact with a sexual partner until the treatment is over.
Apply the lotion after you shower and towel dry. You just need a
thin layer of lotion and cream to your entire body – from the chin
on down. While you can use a pastry brush to make it easy to apply
the lotion. However, you could ask someone to assist you in applying
not get it into your nose, mouth or eyes. Get in between your finger,
nails, feet and butt crack. Avoid washing your hands for 12 to 24
hours after the treatment, but wash yourself off thoroughly. It’s
best if the treatment is done at night to ensure you don’t wash off
the lotion during the day.
an infection is suspected, antibiotics may be given.
key way to reduce the chances of getting scabies is to avoid any
skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the disease. Do not share
clothing or bedding of the infected person and do not wash clothes or
bedding in the same wash. Mites can live up to 72 hours after they
fall off the body, which means you must take preventive measures to
that can be washed and was used by the infected person is washed in
very hot water. Iron clothes and underwear with an electric iron. Dry
items on high heat for up to 30 minutes. Use bleach and hot water on
surfaces that could have scabies mites.
Although scabies isn’t regarded as a sexually transmitted disease, it is certainly one way to become infected with them. Therefore, avoid any sexual contact with a person infected with the disease until they are treated and no longer have signs of the bugs.
Here’s what we've been up to recently.
While Dallas has come a long way in how they treat people with AIDS, the fight against the disease is still far from over. And, Dallas should follow the example of another Texas city – Austin – which became the second city in the state to implement the Fast Track initiative.