backup og meta
Health Screening
Ask Doctor

Best Scabies Prevention Tips

Medically reviewed by Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Ruby Fernandez · Updated Jul 18, 2022

Best Scabies Prevention Tips

Scabies is a parasitic infestation caused by the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis. Scabies in Tagalog is “galis.” The parasite burrows into the upper layer of a host’s skin and lays eggs, triggering an immune response of excessive itching and rashes resembling pimples. This is the most typical manifestation of an infestation. Following the best scabies prevention tips allows one to avoid infestation.

How is Scabies Transmitted?

Scabies occurs worldwide. The itch mite is normally transmitted through direct and prolonged skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. It can spread quickly, especially in conditions where there is frequent close body contact. Places where many people live together are susceptible to scabies outbreaks. Additionally, mites can also be on infested furniture, clothes and beddings.

The infestation can easily be transferred not only to family members but to sexual partners. In adults, scabies is often acquired sexually. The parasite travels to different hosts when clothing, towels or beddings are shared and at least one person is infested. Indirect transmission can occur easily when the infested person has crusted scabies.

The most vulnerable groups are young children and the elderly who live in poor communities that have limited access to treatment. These are especially susceptible to scabies and their secondary complications.

The highest rates of infestation also happen in countries that have hot and tropical climates. On a global scale, scabies is estimated to affect over 200 million people at any time. For this reason, knowing the best scabies prevention tips can be important to protect your health.

What Are the Symptoms of Scabies?

Best scabies prevention begins by recognizing the signs and symptoms.

These include: 

  • Severe itching, especially at night
  • Thin, irregular lines on the skin made up of blisters or small bumps

These burrows or tracks appear in the folds of skin and may be found in any part of the body. 

Scabies on adults and older children may be found most often between the fingers, in the armpits, the waist, the insides of wrists, on inner elbows, soles of the feet, around the breasts, around male genitalia, on the buttocks, and on the knees. 

Infants and younger children may also be afflicted. In this age group, infestation usually occurs on the scalp, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. 

For individuals experiencing infestation for the first time, these symptoms may take as long as six weeks to start appearing. For repeat infestations, the signs and symptoms arrive within a few days of exposure. Carriers can spread scabies even if they are asymptomatic.

How Can Scabies Be Treated?

Scabies mites and their eggs can be killed with products called scabicides. But you will need a doctor’s prescription to purchase this treatment. One such treatment is Permethrin lotion, which doesn’t only treat scabies but also lice. However, the concentration in treating scabies is slightly higher.

Always follow your doctors’ and pharmacists’ instructions, as well as those inside or on the box. Adults and older children using scabicide cream or lotion should apply it all over the whole body, as well as to the head and neck. This then must stay on the body for a period of time before it is washed off. Afflicted persons must wear clean clothes afterwards.

To prevent reinfestation, everyone with scabies must undergo treatment at the same time. Repeat treatment can become necessary if itching does not stop for over two to four week, or if new burrows or rashes appear. 

If you’re looking for more of the best scabies prevention, there are also some natural treatments available for people who get burning sensation on the skin, redness, swelling, and even numbness or tingling from traditional treatments.

These include tea tree oil, aloe vera, capsaicin cream, essential oils, and certain soaps. Their main purpose is to alleviate itching, skin irritation and rashes, while some of these are known mite killers.

Best Scabies Prevention Tips

For best scabies prevention, clean all clothes and linens with hot and soapy water used within three days before starting treatment. Dry in high heat. Items that cannot be washed at home must be dry-cleaned. Deprive mites of a food source by putting unwashable items in a sealed plastic bag and putting it away for a few weeks, such as in a garage. Mites die after several days without food.

Key Takeaway

Scabies is caused by parasitic mites that burrow into the folds of skin and lay eggs, manifesting in rashes with bumps. These are treatable with scabicides, but all household members and recent sexual partners must also undergo treatment as it is highly contagious.

Best scabies prevention methods include thoroughly washing all clothes and bed linens, and starving mites of sources of food.

Learn more about Other Skin Diseases here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Ruby Fernandez · Updated Jul 18, 2022

ad iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

ad iconadvertisement
ad iconadvertisement