There are many misconceptions about scabies. Below are 4 myths that people may have heard and believed.
1. Only Dirty People Get Scabies. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, cleanliness is emphasized when treating scabies, but a lack of cleanliness is not what causes an infestation. A higher level of cleanliness can help in GETTING RID OF SCABIES, but it won’t prevent one from acquiring the condition.
2. You Can Get Scabies From Pets or Other Animals. Scabies mites are specie specific. This means that only certain types of scabies can only thrive on certain hosts. For example, scabies found in dogs is called “mange”; and while this type of scabies can crawl onto a person’s skin and cause itching, it can’t borrow beneath the skin and reproduce. Eventually these mites will die, so there is no need for a scabies treatment when dealing with mange on a human.
3. Adults Can’t Get Scabies On Their Head or Face. Most people believe this since scabies on the head or face is TYPICALLY found infants. The other explanation is that the prescribed scabies medication, Permethrin, is not to be applied above the neck. Scabies CAN travel above the neck in adults, but because Permethrin can be harmful to the eyes and mucus membranes, therefore doctors advise against using it on your head or face for your safety. Though scabies above the neck in adults is less common, it still does occur and other scabies treatments are recommended in those cases.
4. Scabies Is EXTREMELY Contagious. A lot of people believe scabies can be spread so easily, that a simple hand shake, or brief contact can transmit the disease. This is HIGHLY unlikely. Scabies is usually acquired by prolonged contact with individuals with scabies (i.e. sexual contact, sleeping in same bed, sharing clothes). While scabies isn’t as contagious as often exaggerated, it is wise to use a thorough scabies treatment regimen. Scabies can survive off the body for around 2 days, so it’s important to treat everything necessary.