Causes and risk factors of scabies


Common causes

The real cause of scabies is just a mite infestation; the adult female is to blame. However, it is skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a mite that usually results in the transmission of scabies. This can happen in a number of ways.


The female tick burrows deep into the skin of the infected human host, laying eggs from which the larvae hatch. Several larvae mature, causing symptoms of itching and rashes as the infected person develops an immune response that exacerbates symptoms and inflammation.

The adult form of the larvae is capable of mating while living and feeding on the body of the human host. A pregnant female tick can travel through close human contact with another person, after which it can restart the entire infectious process.

Close contact

Most often, the culprit is close and prolonged skin contact with a scabies patient. Usually close relatives and people who live together easily pass the infection to each other. In adults, scabies is often (though not exclusively) transmitted by sexual partners .

Scabies is especially known to spread in crowded conditions. Outbreaks can occur, for example, in kindergartens, nursing homes, military installations, prisons, and shelters.

In such situations, reinfection often occurs, as infected people can transmit the tick to those who have had scabies and received treatment . Reinfection can also occur from contaminated blankets and other items.

Contact through professional massages can even spread the infection. Accidental contact, such as a handshake, is not usually a source of scabies infection.

Contaminated items

Homes and dwellings themselves can become infected with scabies. The mite can live on furniture, bedding, towels, and clothing for several days, causing the infection to spread. However, this only happens with a very serious infection.

Myths: busted

Some people incorrectly associate scabies with poor hygiene. Cleaning does not prevent scabies, as the parasitic mite lives in the deep layers of the skin and therefore cannot be washed. Also, scabies does not mean that a person is "dirty." Instead, it means that the person was simply in close contact with someone or something that has an infection.

It is also important to know that a one-time treatment for scabies does not mean that you cannot get sick again.

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