Scabies

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Scabies is not usually a serious condition, but it does need to be treated to prevent it spreading. Continue reading for advice regarding scabies and the treatment options available to you...

What are scabies?

Scabies is very common and anyone can get it. It should be treated quickly to stop it spreading. One of the first symptoms is intense itching, especially at night. Tiny mites lay eggs in the skin, leaving silvery lines with a dot at one end.

Where is the scabies rash found?

The scabies rash can appear anywhere, but it often starts between the fingers. The rash spreads and turns into tiny red spots. The rash usually spreads across the whole body, apart from the head. Elderly people, young children and anyone with a weakened immune system may also develop a rash on their head and neck.

When should I seek medical advice?

Scabies is very infectious, but it can take up to 8 weeks for the rash to appear. Scabies are passed from person to person through skin-to-skin contact. You cannot get scabies from your pets. People who live or work closely together in nurseries, university halls of residence or nursing homes are more at risk of contracting the condition.

Scabies is not usually a serious condition, but it does need to be treated. Our pharmacists can recommend creams and lotions that can be applied over your whole body to treat this condition. It’s important to read the instructions carefully or speak directly with one of our team through our free telephone consultation service. You’ll need to repeat the treatment 1 week later.

To avoid spreading scabies, everyone in the household needs to receive treatment at the same time, even if they do not have symptoms. All your recent sexual partners within the previous 8 weeks should also be treated.

Additional advice includes:

  • Wash all bedding and clothing in the house at 50C or higher on the first day of treatment
  • Put clothing that cannot be washed in a sealed bag for 3 days until the mites die
  • Stop babies and children sucking treatment from their hands by putting socks or mittens on them
  • Do not have sex or close physical contact until you have completed the full course of treatment
  • Do not share bedding, clothing or towels with someone with scabies

You can go back to work or school 24 hours after the first treatment. Although the treatment kills the scabies mites quickly, the itching can carry on for a few weeks following the treatment. Contact your GP if your skin is still itching 4 weeks after treatment has finished.

Next steps…

If you are suffering from scabies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by booking a telephone consultation with one of our experienced pharmacists for advice and support.

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