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My mother has been working at a nursing home for about the last month and a half. She found out today that a patient she was treating (who had had a rash for quite some time) was diagnosed with scabies. I work at an inpatient psychiatric facility. I have not been to the doctors yet as it is a holiday (and a Sunday). Should I call out tomorrow just in case so as to not spread it and go to the doctors instead? I just feel guilty going in and not knowing if I have it or not and could use some advice.

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Pam & Vstefans that question was a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Veronica, no shaving for head lice. Just a prescription for a lotion with ivermectin in it aka Sklice. Carbolic soaps are coal tar soaps and pretty awful smelling.
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Oooh no, Veronica! No shaving required, though combing out through long hair is a pain. Scabies ITCHES, way worse than ringworm. It really does take close contact, e.g. sleeping in the same bed, unless someone is just badly crusted all over (called Norwegian scabies, really just scabies in someone who is badly immunocompromised.) . I got it once from a very huggy little patient, and got ringworm once from someone who had it in the scalp and rested their head on my thigh, and got a pretty horrid infestation similar ro scabies from something my poor old sick dog had when I took care of him. I found something OTC the first time but ended up needing sulfur in petrolatum plus neem oil with whatever my dog gave me. Again, nothing life-threatening, just ITCHY. Stacy B nailed the Rx BTW.
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If your Mom or you are not showing signs of symptoms, I doubt that you have anything to worry about. Continue good hygiene and frequent hand washing techniques. If symptoms appear, seek medical care, the sooner the better.

In the meantime, I hope the facility your Mom works for, is treating this patient.

Treatment is very simple, the patients is showered, lotioned/creamed down/covered in the medicated preparation, there are several on the market. Then allow it to absorb into the skin, dress, and wash off the skin after 8 hours or the next day, depending on the treatment. The Scabie mites can continue to cause intense itching for days to weeks after treatment, which comes from the debris (feces/waste) that the mites leave behind in their tracts/burrowing, but the treatment is extremely effective if done properly the first time, and the mites themselves are usually dead, but often it is advised to repeat treatment in one week.

Antihistamines help to quell the intense itching, but do watch for secondary infection, such as Staph. Topical steriods sometimes help itching on the site of infection, but not on open skin.

Common sites of concern are hands and feet, especially the webs of the fingers, breasts, underarms trunk, arms and legs. Red raised bumpy, lines/tracts, and extremely itch, especially when the patient is warm.

If you've got it, you know it, and there's no reason to worry, until you do have it, other than to use good hand washing techniques, and avoid direct contact with the affected person.
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Pam do they still treat lice by shaving the head and washing with pure carbolic?
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No experience with this but once had a horse with Ringworm. We had to bathe her every day with Betadine. She picked it up while a patient at a famous veterinary Hospital.
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Grandma's cure for scabies was coal tar or pine tar soap. You'll smell like a bucket of coal. Newer soaps have sulfur and lavender; sulfur smelly. Rx products like "Sklice" use ivermectin but really expensive if you don't have Rx coverage. Over the counter products like Rid have strong chemical smell. If you decide to use a pet product, you need one for sarcoptic mange and not just demodectic mange. I have not tried tea tree oil or neem oil, but beware that stuff like that can also give you a rash.
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CM, it apparently makes a difference in how soon the symptoms show (almost immediately vs up to 6 weeks!) and also how they are treated. Not, I guess, in how miserable you are.
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Ooo yes they do Jeanne! Or at least as near as makes no difference - as was explained to me by the amused South African vet who was treating our dog and observed us all scratching in his treatment room. Segue to hilarious scenes at the all-night chemist and the entire family doused head to toe in smelly lotion... A mite's a mite for a' that...

Martha, you're at quite some remove from this. Is your mother experiencing any symptoms she'll admit to? Have you been in close physical contact with her? If not, you're most unlikely to have caught anything; but if you're still worried then you'd better call work, report the facts of the situation (just the facts, not your fears), and get their instructions.
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Here's your problem - well, one of them anyhow - it's actually two to SIX weeks before symptoms of scabies show and until you present some sort of bump or rash there's no way to determine if you have it. So unless you plan on hiding yourself away for an extended period of time - you may need to carry on, hoping for the best. Scabies is spread through prolong physical contact with someone who is infected - so you can do your best to limit any physical contact with others until your past the incubation period.
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People don't get scabies from animals with mange. It is a different kind of mite. (But mange mites can cause discomfort and itching in people -- but not scabies.)

If you are not showing any symptoms, can testing be effective? I don't know! But I'd call a nurse help line and ask tonight.

If your mother does have scabies, how much close physical contact have you had with her?

If you do have scabies mites, how likely are you to come into the kind of contact at work that cause them to transfer to someone else? I just don't know how much of a risk it would be. Do you hug people? Have skin-to-skin contact? Again, in deciding what to do tomorrow I would call a nurse help line with these questions.

You are being considerate to worry about spreading something you are not even sure you have. Good for you! But you might be overly cautious as well. I hope you have access to one of those 24-help lines that can give you professional advice.
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Scabies is easy to treat. Don't worry. Scabies spreads through eggs or direct contact with the affected individual. If you keep your skin clean you shouldn't be contagious. If you start to have symptoms, e.g. itching with small lines showing the mite is burrowing, you will recognize them.
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Fooey. I know a woman who cuddled up a baby fox who had mange. By that afternoon, she complained of a rash. Mange mites burrow under your skin and boy does that itch.
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But it takes 2-4 weeks to show symptoms when you've never had it before and yet you're still contagious.
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If you had scabies (mange) you would know. So go to work. I am a wildlife rehabber and familiar with mange.
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