Mange is a skin condition caused by mites. It typically affects dogs, but some forms can also affect humans.
The most common type of mange in dogs is sarcoptic mange, also called canine scabies.
Humans can catch sarcoptic mange from dogs, but the mites involved cannot complete their life cycle in human skin. As a result, the issue can cause some skin irritation in humans, but it does not last long.
After contact with an affected animal, a person may develop itchy welts like mosquito bites, which may be reddish. They should fade shortly. In the meantime, a cortisone cream can reduce the inflammation and itching.
The other type of mange that dogs contract, demodectic mange, is fairly rare and more serious. A dog may develop it if they have compromised immunity. Experts do not believe that this form is contagious for other animals, including humans.
If a person suspects that their dog has sarcoptic mange, they should keep the dog off shared furniture, wash the dog’s bedding, and avoid very close contact.
Sarcoptic mites of the subspecies Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis cause mange in dogs. However, a different subspecies, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, causes scabies in humans.
Scabies can spread quickly from person to person through physical contact.
If a person gets mange from an animal, the issue is usually short-lived.
Mites from animals typically cause an allergic reaction in human skin. This leads to irritation, intense itching. The affected skin may be reddish in people with lighter skin tones.
The itchiness of mange can last several days, but a person does not need treatment to get rid of the mites. A cream that contains cortisone can help ease the symptoms while they last.
Human scabies, on the other hand, does require treatment. It is common throughout the world and more problematic in areas that are overcrowded, have poor sanitation, or both.
If a person has come into contact with human scabies mites for the first time, the symptoms may not appear for
A person who has had scabies before may experience the symptoms of a new infestation in as few as
Symptoms of scabies in humans include:
- intense itching, which can be more severe at night
- a rash, possibly of small blisters, between the fingers
- small tracks of blisters or bumps, called burrow lines, where the mites have traveled
The symptoms may be more apparent in skin folds, such as those of the fingers, palms, buttocks, beneath the breast, and in the inner knee and elbow.
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