Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin.
The main symptom of scabies is intense itching that’s worse at night. It also causes a skin rash on areas where the mites have burrowed.
Scabies mites are called Sarcoptes scabiei. They feed using their mouths and front legs to burrow into the outer layer of skin (epidermis), where they lay eggs.
After 3 to 4 days, the baby mites (larvae) hatch and move to the surface of the skin, where they mature into adults.
Scabies like warm places, such as skin folds, between the fingers, under fingernails, or around the buttock or breast creases. They can also hide under watch straps, bracelets or rings.
How scabies is spread
Scabies is usually spread through prolonged periods of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or through sexual contact.
It’s also possible – but rare – for scabies to be passed on by sharing clothing, towels and bedding with someone who’s infected.
It can take up to 8 weeks for the symptoms of scabies to appear after the initial infection. This is known as the incubation period.
The main symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a rash in areas of the body where the mites have burrowed.
The itching is often worse at night, when your skin is warmer. It may take 4 to 6 weeks before the itching starts because this is how long it takes for the body to react to mite droppings.
Symptoms will start within 1 to 2 days if you’ve had a scabies infection in the past. This is because your immune system will have learned to respond to a scabies infection.
The scabies rash consists of tiny red spots. Scratching the rash may cause crusty sores to develop.
Burrow marks can be found anywhere on the body. They’re short (1cm or less), wavy, silver-coloured lines on the skin, with a black dot at one end that can be seen with a magnifying glass.
Apply 5 drops Parasite Blend over the affected area/s (note that this is a hot oil, be careful not to burn the skin – dilute further with a carrier oil if necessary).