How to Prevent the Spread of Scabies Mites
Scabies is a highly uncomfortable skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin, causing severe itching and rashes. What’s worse than having to deal with scabies yourself? Knowing that you’ve passed it onto someone else. And unfortunately, scabies is extremely contagious.
Although it can affect anyone, scabies is more common in crowded and unhygienic environments, such as nursing homes, schools and prisons. Luckily, even in the least ideal conditions, there are steps you can take to prevent its spread. But first, how do you identify scabies?
Can You See scabies?
Scabies mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye, measuring only 0.2 to 0.4 millimeters in length. However, you may be able to spot their tracks or burrows, which appear as thin, wavy, and sometimes raised lines on the skin. Scabies rashes often occur in areas where the skin is thin, such as the fingers, wrists, elbows, armpits, breasts, genitals and buttocks.
Images of scabies can give you an idea of what the condition looks like. It's important to note that scabies can look different in different people, depending on factors such as age, immune system and previous exposure. In the early stages of infection, you are likely to see only bite marks that resemble those made by bed bugs as well. There are 5 easy ways to tell them apart, but it’s still recommended to consult a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and treatment if you can see anything on your body that might be caused by scabies.
How to Prevent the Spread of Scabies
Scabies spreads through close skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, as well as through sharing clothing, bedding and towels. Everyone everywhere is equally as likely to get scabies. Therefore, the best way to prevent the spread of scabies is to avoid direct contact with an infected person and their belongings.
Here are some tips on how to prevent scabies from spreading:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, especially after touching someone who has scabies or their belongings
Avoid sharing personal items such as clothing, bedding, towels and brushes. If you must share, wash and dry the items on high heat or store them in a plastic bag for at least three days.
If you or someone in your household has scabies, treat all members of the household at the same time, even if they don't have symptoms. Follow the treatment plan recommended by your healthcare provider, which may include prescription medications such as permethrin cream, lindane lotion or oral ivermectin.
Clean and disinfect your home with Sterifab regularly, paying special attention to frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and remote controls. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to help remove mites and their eggs from carpets, furniture and bedding.
Avoid close contact with people who have weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, young children and people with chronic illnesses.
How to Clean for Scabies
Cleaning for scabies is one of the main keys to preventing its spread, but requires thoroughness and attention to detail. Here are some steps you can take to clean your home effectively:
Wash all clothing, bedding and towels in hot water and dry on high heat. If an item can't be washed, such as a stuffed animal or a delicate fabric, seal it in a plastic bag for at least three days.
Vacuum carpets, furniture and mattresses thoroughly, paying attention to cracks and crevices where mites may hide. Dispose of the vacuum bag or clean the canister and filter afterward.
Apply Sterifab to any surface that may be infected, including the cracks and crevices you tried to vacuum in step 2.
Avoid shaking or brushing items that may contain mites, such as bedding or clothing. Instead, fold them carefully and place them directly into the washer.
If you have scabies and have been in contact with other people, inform them of your condition so that they can take precautions.
Preventing the spread of scabies is essential to protect yourself and your loved ones from this contagious skin condition. By avoiding close contact with infected individuals, treating scabies promptly and cleaning your home thoroughly, you can reduce the risk of transmission and keep your environment safe and healthy. Remember to follow the guidelines provided by your healthcare provider and practice good hygiene habits to prevent the spread of scabies. With these simple yet effective measures, you can minimize the impact of scabies and enjoy a healthy, itch-free life.
Worried there might be scabies in your home? Or maybe they’re bed bugs?