Infection with scabies

Scabies is not a serious disease, but an infection with scabies is very annoying. You may experience intense itching all over your body. Scratching does not help, but it does damage the skin in the long run. Scabies is caused by scabies mites. Scabies mites are small creatures that are not easy to see with the naked eye, but can be viewed well with a microscope.

Scabies mite

The scabies mite is a small creature that can only be seen clearly under a microscope. The females make small holes or indentations in the skin where they can lay their eggs. These eggs hatch after a few days (three to four). This allows the scabies mite to spread very quickly throughout your body. The bugs cause terrible itching. Scratching does not help, but because you continue to scratch the itch (out of habit), your skin will eventually become damaged and the itching has not yet disappeared. In some cases, scabies falls under an STD. (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
Scabies is often transmitted through intimate contact. If you have sex with a scabies-infected person, there is a good chance that you will become infected. There’s nothing you can do to stop this. The scabies mite can be found anywhere on the body and not just on the genitals. A condom does not protect against contamination (for example)!

Symptoms of scabies

Scabies causes persistent itching that does not go away on its own. The itching can spread over the entire body. The female scabies mite digs tunnels in the skin, which can be clearly visible in some places on the body. For example, they are visible in skin folds, such as under the breasts, between the toes or fingers and in the back of the knees. The corridors can also be clearly visible on the wrists or forearms. Red-purple spots may appear around the pubic area.

Infection with scabies

As mentioned earlier, you can become infected with scabies when you are intimate with an infected person. This is not the only way to become infected with scabies. You can also pick it up from someone when you sleep in the same bed, wear the same clothes, or use the same objects on the skin, such as a comb.


The doctor can easily determine whether you have indeed become infected with scabies. The scabies mite can be clearly seen through the microscope. Depending on how you became infected, he may suggest investigating any other STD you may have contracted. The treatment is simple and fast. The doctor usually prescribes a cream or gel, which you should spread over the entire body after showering. It is important that you spread the gel or cream well over the entire body, including the hands and feet, between the fingers and toes. Only your head does not need to be rubbed. This cream or gel should usually be left on for between 8 and 12 hours. That is why it is wise to apply it early in the evening after showering and only wash it off the next morning. In some cases it is wise (if you suffered seriously from scabies) to repeat the treatment again. This way you can be sure that the skin is completely cleansed of the scabies mites. The gel or cream ensures that the scabies mite dies. Dead scabies mites can also cause itching. You may therefore continue to suffer from itching for a few weeks after treatment, but to a lesser extent than if the scabies mite were still alive. You can no longer infect someone else if you only have dead scabies mites on your body.

Preventing scabies from returning

Wash all your clothing and bedding at at least 60 degrees. Anything that cannot be washed (or not at such a high temperature) is best left outside in a completely sealed garbage bag for at least three days. Make sure the bag is completely closed.
Allow everything that could harbor scabies mites to ventilate well. Also consider your pillow(s) and your mattress. If you have been intimate with someone or someone else has used your bed or clothing, etc., it is wise for this person to also be examined and, if necessary, treated. If someone does not (yet) suffer from complaints, this does not mean that they have not become infected. It is certainly necessary that your regular partner (if you have one) is treated and also washes and air everything. This prevents you from unknowingly infecting each other.

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