Scabies is an infestation of the top layer of skin caused by the parasite, Sarcoptes scabiei , often called scabies or mites. It is a contagious (catching) disorder of the skin caused by very small, wingless insects or mites called the Human Itch mite or Scabies itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis (Hering). The female insect burrows into the skin where she lays 1 - 3 eggs daily. It takes approximately 10 days for the eggs to hatch and become adult mites. At this point, the cycle will begin again.
The most common locations for scabies are on the sides of fingers, between the fingers, on the backs of the hands, on the wrists, heels, elbows, armpits, inner thighs and around the waist (belt line).
If untreated, the disease may last for months. Ultimately natural desensitization may develop.
Scabies are transmitted through close physical contact. Transmission is more likely when partners spend the night together than during a brief sexual encounter.
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