Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How is scabies spread?"
My friend has scabies and I don't want it! How is it spread? Can I get it from just hanging out with her?
Scabies is infection called by a small mite which is usually so tiny that it is invisible to the naked eye. However, the symptoms are very typical. There are reddened spots on the skin that are extremely itchy (in fact, people with scabies often say this is the itchiest they have ever been in their lives) and are located especially between the fingers and toes, in the groin, and on the waistline. Fortunately, there are topical medications which are very effective at killing off the scabies mite. At the same time, however, the mite tends to contaminate clothing, blankets, and other household objects. Therefore, it can be difficult to get rid of, because one needs to clean all of these items thoroughly, or it is possible to be reinfected. If your friend has scabies, you definitely should avoid sharing any personal object, sleeping in the same bed, etc. until the infection is cleared up, as these would be the most likely ways to pick up the infection. Also, if you have any spots on your skin that are itchy or otherwise suspicious you should go see your primary care doctor right away to make sure these are not scabies. Good luck!
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