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Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabiei. It is common all over the world and can affect anyone. Scabies spreads quickly in crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people. Hospitals, child-care centers and nursing homes are examples. Scabies can easily infect sex partners and other household members. Sharing clothes, towels and bedding can also spread scabies. You cannot get scabies from a pet. Pets get a different mite infection called mange.
Ohio State dermatologists diagnose scabies by looking at the skin rash and finding burrows in the skin.
Several lotions are available to treat scabies. The infected person's clothes, bedding and towels should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Treatment is also recommended for household members and sexual partners.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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