[Announcer] This podcast is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC - safer, healthier people.
Welcome to Ask CDC, the weekly podcast that answers your questions. I'm your host, Susan Laird.
This week, a listener wants to know what scabies is.
Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The scabies mite is usually spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.
It’s a common condition found worldwide and affects people of all races and social classes. Scabies causes intense itching, especially at night. It can also cause a pimple-like skin rash. The itching leads to scratching that can cause skin sores. Sometimes a skin sore becomes infected with bacteria. Scabies can be treated.
Crusted scabies, also known as Norwegian scabies, is a severe form of scabies that is more commonly seen in nursing homes or other institutional settings. Crusted scabies affects people who have a weakened immune system. People who have crusted scabies are very contagious because they are infested with a greater number of mites.