Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas


  • Scabies is an infection of the skin with the ‘itch mite’ Sarcoptes scabeii
  • The rash usually appears as a scaly, crusted eruption:
    • Between the fingers and toes
    • Over the wrists and ankles, nipples and in the underarms
    • Commonly affects the penis and scrotum
  • Virtually never affects the face or scalp
  • Is not due to poor hygiene
  • Is spread by prolonged, close contact with an infected person (e.g. living in the same house, sharing the same bed)
  • Can take up to one month after infection to develop symptoms
  • Not all infected persons develop symptoms
    • Not all people who are infected are itchy
  • Anyone can catch scabies if they are exposed to an infected person
  • Only lives on humans;
    • It cannot live on dogs, cats or other animals
  • Everyone in the household has to be treated at the same time regardless of whether they are itchy or not
  • Close contacts (e.g. boyfriend/girlfriend) also have to be treated
  • Co-workers or classmates do not need to be treated
  • Everyone should have a hot soapy bath or shower the same evening
  • Over the counter creams and lotions are available to treat scabies
    • Please talk to your doctor to determine which one is best for your situation
  • It is usually not necessary to treat the face or scalp
  • Remember to treat between the fingers and toes, the genital area and the soles of the feet as well
  • Wear the medication over night and wash it off the next morning
  • All of the bedding and linen has to be washed before it can be used again
  • The scabies mite can live off the skin for up to 7 days
    • Any clothes that have not been worn for more that a week before treatment can be worn without being washed
    • All other clothing should be washed
    • Any clothing that cannot be washed should not be worn for at least 7 days
      • After 7 days any mites present should be dead
  • It is not necessary to change the mattresses
  • It is not necessary to fumigate the home
  • It is not necessary to treat the carpets or furniture
  • It is not necessary to treat pets
  • The treatment should be repeated after one week
  • If a cortisone cream has been prescribed, it is safe to use it after the first treatment with the anti-scabies medications
  • Antihistamine pills may be helpful to treat the itch
  • Some patients remain itchy for up to one month after treatment, even though they are no longer infected

Scabies – Wrist

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