Can you get scabies without skin to skin contact?
Yes, you can get scabies without skin to skin human contact. While contact is the one and only factor that can allow for the spread of scabies, it doesn’t necessarily have to be skin-to-skin. Here, we will look at how scabies is contracted in full details. First, let’s start with the different modes of contact that sponsor the scabies disease.
How do you get scabies in the first place?
Contraction through $ex
$ex is an intimate relationship between two persons. Intimacy involves prolonged contact between two people. In a case where one of the persons involved is affected by the scabies disease, the other person could easily get affected. What causes this is the mobility of a burrowing insect called mite.
Contraction through sharing of materials
This is the other way you can get scabies asides skin to skin human contact. If you live with someone with scabies, or stay in the same place with someone that has scabies for a very long time, you are at the risk of having it to. The reason for this is because the mites are very mobile. They can intermittently move off the body of the affected individual and then, get locked within the person’s clothes, furniture, watches, bed covers, and other materials.
The two ways of contraction above prove the fact that the insects behind the scabies infection are very mobile. However, it is known that these mites have a short life span and can die very easily. How then can they affect an individual so much that he battles with the symptoms for a time as long as three or four months?
Let’s take a look at the symptoms of scabies
- Red dots across the skin
- Hives (These are small itchy bumps on the skin. They are instigated by the body as immune responses to a certain substance. They could also occur as a result of allergies to certain materials.
- Discolored burrow lines (These lines are lines that the mites burrow through when they want to lay their eggs deep within the skin tissue.)
Once you begin to see these symptoms, you can say surely that you have scabies. It is very important that you begin treatment immediately as the condition will last as long as the mites are alive. For people who have had to face scabies at a point or the other in their lives, the symptoms show up within a time as short as three days. For those who haven’t had it before, the symptoms may show up in about two to six weeks after exposure.
These symptoms are usually seen in the following areas;
- The wrist
- The elbow
- The nιpples
- The penιs
- Feet soles
Usually, the symptoms appear in the prιvate parts for adults who contract it $exually. However, when infants contract it, the symptoms are mostly seen on their faces. How then do these mites do their parasitic job?
The trouble starts the moment your skin gets infested with these mites. The adult mites are usually pregnant and ready to lay eggs. They are also very tiny and would not be seen until you use a microscope. You wouldn’t even feel them move!
Once they infest the skin, the first thing they want to do is lay their eggs. To do that, they dig deep into the skin tissues and lay their eggs. For other activities that have to do with feeding and living, they remain at the skin’s uppermost surface. The moment your immune system detects the eggs, the symptoms begin to show up.
The first thing that happens is that you start to scratch across the affected areas strongly, spurred on by the intense itch that comes off that area. The continuous scratch is what causes blisters, bumps or any of the other swellings across that skin surface. The reason for this is because the skin gets open to infection by bacteria and other microorganisms.
How do you get scabies without human contact?
From the section above, you’d see that you can get scabies without the skin-to-skin human contact. Coming in contact with materials that have come in contact with the skin of the affected individual could cause the contraction of the scabies disease. Some of these materials include the following;
- Bed covers
- Jewelry, etc.
In areas where there is crowding of people in an enclosed space, scabies can easily be contracted. Examples of these spaces include prisons, nursing facilities, etc. Once someone contracts scabies, it is okay to get the person isolated during the process of treatment. The treatment is aimed at ensuring that the mites are totally gotten rid of.
Usually, the symptoms persist even after the mites have been cleared. The reason for this is because the body still continues to itch. The more you scratch; the more the blisters and wounds that would be formed on such skin. That is why it is recommended that you take medications that can help relieve you of the itching. Some of these medications include the following;
- Antihistamines like Benadryl or Pramoxine.
- Steroid creams
- Antibiotics (Most of the secondary infections occur as a result of the weakened resistance of the affected skin. The antibiotics help to fight against bacterial strains that could affect the area.
Either way, the person isn’t able to pass on the disease to another person without the mites.