Scabies is a skin infection caused by mites that burrow into the skin and lay eggs. Most people will notice they have a rash around the wrists, fingers or private areas. This infection is extremely contagious and transferred easily through skin-to-skin contact. Environments where people live in close proximity, such as dorms, nursing homes and prisons, are more susceptible to these outbreaks. Although scabies is relatively easy to treat, sometimes it takes more than one course of medication.
Examine your skin carefully. After treating scabies, be aware of itchiness that gets worse in the evening or after taking a warm shower. If your scabies isn’t gone, these symptoms will reoccur, accompanied by blisters and bumps in the affected area.
Treat your skin for one week. People infected with scabies often worry that treatment methods aren’t working. But treatment methods often take a week to be effective.
Repeat the course of treatment. If symptoms haven’t subsided in a week, you’ll need to ask your doctor about repeating the treatment. With most patients, a second course of treatment will eliminate the problem for good.
Follow up with your doctor. After completing the treatment, follow up with your doctor. Even if symptoms are gone, a doctor should still examine you to ensure the scabies infection is eliminated.
Minimize your chances of additional outbreaks. Scabies can be prevented by avoiding physical contact, such as holding hands. Wash your bed linens in hot water, because scabies can live in a variety of linens, including sheets and towels.
Don’t scratch. Scratching the skin while treating scabies can increase the likelihood of the infection spreading. In addition, open sores infected by scabies are at risk for a bacterial infection.