This rash is itchy-Could I have Scabies?

Girl scratching her hands that have a rash

What are the symptoms?

A rash caused by tiny insects called mites that burrow into the skin. The rash is itchy and has small, red, raised spots that appear on the fingers, elbows, armpits and abdomen. The itching is usually worse at night. Follow-up with your health care provider for appropriate diagnosis.

How is it spread?

Scabies is spread person-to-person through prolonged close contact with the skin. It is also spread by sharing clothing, towels or bed sheets. Mites can survive off of human skin for 2-3 days.

What is the Incubation period?

2-6 weeks after contact with scabies for those with no previous exposure to scabies—1-4 days for those that have had it in the past.

What is the Infectious period?

You can be infectious until the mites are destroyed by treatment. Usually after 1 or sometimes 2 courses of treatment a week apart. It is recommended that you stay home from work or school until 24 hours after treatment is applied. Treatment is available over the counter without a prescription.

How can you prevent the spread?

Avoid close skin-to-skin contact and sharing personal items. Close contacts and family members may also need treatment.

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