Scabies, a transmissible ectoparasite skin infection, is characterized by superficial burrows, secondary infection and intense itching. This makes good sense as the actual word ‘scabies’ is Latin for ‘itch’.
Unlike alot of different infections and diseases the cause of scabies is actually known. Caused by the mite, variety hominis, it intensifies which results in extremely itchy skin that rashes. This itchiness is because the pregnant female mites tunnel into the stratum corneum of the skin to deposit eggs in the burrow. Hatching in 3-10 days, the larvae, will move about in the skin. It is in the skin where they become mature adults. Adult mites will usually live in the skin for three to four weeks. Although, the mites aren’t able to live their entire life in the skin, they are able to cause alot of itching and hassle before they finally die.
As you can imagine the existance of mites in your skin is extremely irritating and creates a huge itch sensation. Often times this step will look alot like an allergic reaction on the skin, which isn’t far off as the presense of the mite eggs inside the skin will produce a humongous allergic response. All of this just leads to more itching which is extremely damaging to the skin. Scabies, as you can see is an absolute pain, as it causes constant irritation. If the itching sensation is given into on a regular basis, often times sores will develop on the skin, which in turn lead to increased risk of infection.
Sometimes classes as a sexual disease, scabies can easily transmit by prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Often times it will rip through an entire household through the sharing of clothing, bedding or towels. These second hand methods of transmission are rarer, than first hand skin-to-skin, although they should still be noted. Three hundred million is the approximate number of scabies infestation cases around the world each year.