Scabies is an parasitic infestation that occurs due to an 8-legged mite called Sarcoptes scabies. It is estimated that about 200 million people suffer from scabies worldwide at any given time and upto 10% of children from poor economic backgrounds tend to be affected by it. Scabies is a highly contagious disease that spreads through prolonged and close physical contact with an infected patient.
Scabies outbreaks are more commonly seen in crowded places such as nursing institutions, daycare centers, prisons, etc., where people live in close proximity to each other. The symptoms of scabies range from a severe itching sensation to the formation of skin lesions such as burrows, papules, crusts, etc. The urge to itch may be especially strong at night.
Scabies is contagious and can spread quickly through close physical contact. Since scabies is a contagious disease , physicians often recommend treatment for entire families or contact groups. Scabies is treated with topical application of anti-scabies creams or lotions. Oral tablets might be required in some cases. It is recommended to simultaneously treat all members living in close proximity to the patient to prevent reinfection.