The Itch You Can’t Scratch: Unveiling Scabies

What is Scabies?

Scabies is a common skin infection caused by mites (Sarcoptes scabiei) that nest in your skin. Their droppings lead to the inflammation of the skin. Scabies is common in children as well and is not always related to sexual transmission.


How do I know?

The main symptom of scabies is intense itching, which usually occurs 2-6 weeks after infection, but can occur after 1-4 days in newly infected persons. The itchiness is often strongest at night or under warm water. Typical sites are: between the fingers; on the outside of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, penis, scrotum or armpit creases.


How do we get infected?

Transmission occurs through close skin contact, but often also through clothing or bedding. A mite can drill itself into the skin within an hour. New matured mites hatch from their eggs after about 10 days.


How is it treated?

Scabies can be treated orally or with a product that can be applied to the whole body below the neck. Bed linen, bath towels and clothes should be washed at over 60°C. Those living together and sexual partners should be treated at the same time. The itching can persist for several days or weeks after the treatment due to an allergic reaction.



Check out more content on STIs like Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis A/B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, HPV, Genital Warts, Crabs, Fungi.

Do You Have Any Question? #AskQueerLips


Do you want to understand the basics of STIs? Click here.

Learn how to protect yourself from an STI. Click here.


About the Author: Raju Behara (she/they), a trans-disabled Peer Support Provider with a decade of healthcare experience, holds a Masters in Pharmacology and a PG Diploma in Health Economics, Health Policy at the Indian Institute of Public Health. Aligned with the Safe Access Community Wellbeing Project, Raju has contributed to LGBTQIA+ safety in Indian workplaces, drafting gender-neutral dress codes and working on sensitization. A published author and poet in various anthologies, Raju, through EQUAL fellowship, chronicled social histories of housing, healthcare and workplace discrimination for queer-trans individuals in India. They initiated ‘Queer & Quarantine’, a crisis intervention program for trans folks facing housing challenges.

Article Vetted by: Dr. Swathi SB


Note: We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided. Consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or changes to your treatment based on information obtained from this platform. In case of a medical emergency or urgent situation, please seek immediate medical attention or contact your local emergency services.