Scabies is an itchy condition caused by a mite that burrows under the skin. The mite that causes scabies is called Sarcoptes scabiei. Individuals who get scabies experience extreme itching in affected areas. The itching is a result of an allergic reaction to the mites. The itching from scabies tends to be worse at night.
As long as the condition is left untreated, the mites will continue to reproduce under the skin. Scratching provides some immediate relief but can leave the skin irritated and broken, causing sores. Scabies spreads easily among individuals in settings where there is prolonged close contact.
1. Who Is Likely to Get Scabies?
Socioeconomic status, race, gender and background do not determine who gets scabies. Scabies affects people all over the world, but those who live in crowded conditions can be more susceptible. Scabies most often impacts persons in situations where there is constant close contact because it's very contagious.
Child care centers, college dorms, correctional facilities, nursing homes and similar congregate settings where people live or spend much of their time in close quarters are places where it's easy for scabies to spread. It's not unusual to hear of scabies outbreaks in childcare centers.