Scabies Home > How Do You Get Scabies?
How do you get scabies? Scabies is transmitted when there is prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. You can also get it as a result of sharing clothing, towels, and bedding. Children can get scabies at daycare, school, or sleepovers. Elderly people may get it in nursing homes. For unknown reasons, scabies in nursing homes is more severe than with typical cases.
Scabies is a highly contagious condition caused by the scabies mite (Sarcoptes scabiei). Scabies transmission occurs by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person already infested with the mites. Contact must be prolonged (a quick handshake or hug will usually not spread infestation). Infestation is easily spread to sexual partners and household members. It may also occur by sharing clothing, towels, and bedding.
In children, scabies transmission commonly occurs at daycare, school, or sleepovers.
You do not get scabies as a result of poor hygiene.
Scabies transmission in nursing homes is a problem. For unknown reasons, scabies in nursing homes is more severe than the typical scabies infestation, possibly requiring more than one application of scabies treatment. People who get scabies in nursing homes may have different symptoms of scabies than is typical. The rash may affect the face and scalp, but not other, more common areas. In a nursing home, severe itching may be the only symptom of scabies a person experiences.