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Scabies Causes & Risks

Causes

An infestation results when the female mite burrows into the skin and lays its eggs. The scabies mite does not suck blood. It does not transmit any disease other than scabies between people.

Scabies is highly contagious. Most often, it is passed from person to person through:

  • Close and generally prolonged physical contact
  • Sexual contact

Scabies can also spread from person to person by sharing:

  • Clothing
  • Towels
  • Bedding

Scabies can occasionally also be acquired from certain mammals. It is most common from dogs with sarcoptic mange. Scabies from dogs differs somewhat from human scabies. It rarely passes from person to person.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance of scabies include:

  • Age: less than 15 years, or older than 65 years
  • Sexual contact with new or multiple partners
  • Close, physical contact with a person who has scabies
  • Living in close quarters with others (such as in a nursing home or military barracks)
  • A weakened immune system
  • Close contact with animal scabies

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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