What Is Scabies?
The goal of treatment is to:
- Treat any family members who have been in close contact with the infected person
- Kill the scabies mites (Sarcoptes scabiei)
- Prevent the scabies from returning.
Both the patient and family members can be treated with the same medicine.
It is important that all scabies eggs and mites be killed. So all clothes, bedding, and towels used by the infested person should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer 2 days before scabies treatment begins. No special cleaning is necessary for coats, furniture, rugs, floors, and walls.
(Click Scabies Treatment for a more in-depth look at the treatment process.)
There is no home remedy for scabies. People should see their doctor so that medicine can be prescribed to kill the mites and eggs. Itching can continue even after the scabies is killed. Medicine can also be prescribed for this itching.
A more severe form of scabies is called Norwegian scabies (also known as crusted scabies). This type is more common in the elderly, people taking steroid medicines, and people with the following conditions:
- Brain or spinal cord conditions
- Mental conditions
- Down syndrome
- Senile dementia
- Weakened immune system conditions (such as HIV or AIDS).
(Click Norwegian Scabies for more information.)