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What are scabies mites and how do they cause such irritation?

While many are quick to jump to the conclusion that only people who don’t shower and don’t keep a clean home can contract scabies, this is far from the truth. The scabies rash is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. Scabies mites are attracted to the warmth and smell of humans, more specifically the smell of our skin.

Anyone can contract scabies. The scabies mite is typically passed from person to person, but can also be contracted by using an infected person’s belongings. For example, sharing a bed with someone who has scabies, even if the person is not in the bed, is not a good idea.

Scabies mites cannot fly or jump. In fact, they move very slowly and direct contact with them is the only way to become this mite’s new home. Once the human body comes into direct contact with these mites, the mite migrates to an area of rough or wrinkled skin (i.e., elbows, knuckles, knees, etc.) and it burrows under the skin causing the initial skin irritation / allergic reaction.

Once these mites create their burrows, they begin to lay their eggs under your skin. As with most rashes that cause itching, scratching can spread the mites to other areas of the body. However, with scabies all that is necessary is to touch the rash and touch another area of your skin to spread the mites. Scabies is extremely contagious and it is important to begin treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.

A person who has never had scabies before could take several weeks to begin showing symptoms, but that person is still contagious during those weeks. The first weeks of being infected before symptoms start to show is called the incubation period. Children can easily contract mites simply because they are in close contact with other children and are likely not to show symptoms during the two to three week incubation period. A person who has had mites before usually begins to show symptoms within a few days of contracting them, lessening the length of the incubation period and thus the time they are unknowingly infecting others.

It is important to remember that you are still contagious if even one mite is still alive in your skin, even after your symptoms have subsided. Because of how contagious this parasite is, it is that much more important to find a surefire treatment that will kill the bugs the first time around without causing harm to you.

How Scabies is Spread

Scabies usually is spread by close, intimate contact, such as sleeping in the same bed with or touching someone who has scabies. The scabies mite cannot fly or jump, and it moves very slowly. However other types of human mites can fly or jump, including collembolla or springtails.

Some experts believe that the scabies mite can live up to 3 days without human body contact, which means that scabies may also be spread by contact with clothes, bed linens, and household articles. Wash all clothing, beds, linens, and household articles with ample soap and hot water ASAP.

When a mite reaches an area of rough or wrinkled skin (elbows, knuckles, knees), it burrows under the skin. Scratching can spread scabies mites to other areas of the body, but simply touching another part of the body while mites are on the hands may also spread them.

The scabies mite that infests humans does not normally affect dogs or other pets. Similarly, animal-transmitted scabies mites can't reproduce on humans, so only animal treatment is necessary to end an infestation. Animals can be temporary carriers of human mites. Bites from these mites can cause severely itchy hives or raised bumps for a few days. If your animal has mange mites, they must be treated separately.

Our products are proven to eliminate scabies and human mites and are most effective when used consistently as directed and in combination with each other.