Mites cause sarcoptic mange in dogs and cats, but the condition is also contagious for humans. The mite that causes the symptoms of mange in dogs dies quickly on humans. Humans experience symptoms, but no treatment is usually necessary. While the mites may not live on humans, it is possible to be reinfected if the source of the mites is not eliminated. Sarcoptic mange caused by the mite that infects pets should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out other skin conditions.
The most common symptom of sarcoptic mange in humans is intense itching. The itch may occur before there are visible signs of the mites. Some patients with sarcoptic mange react more severely than others. The symptoms may be an immune system response to the mites and they may appear in areas that do not have an infestation of mites. Topical itch creams may help to control the itching. Canine mange disappears on people on its own and does not require treatment.
Sarcoptic mange or canine mange in people, causes a rash and inflammation of the skin. The skin blisters and may appear similar to pimples. Common areas for an outbreak of sarcoptic mange on a human are the stomach, thighs and lower arms. The rash may also be an immune system response and not necessarily caused by the mites. A rash caused by the immune system can also appear in areas where there are no mites.
Skin infection is not caused by sarcoptic mange, but scratching the skin can introduce bacteria to the affected area. A skin infection may have a red appearance and feel warm or hot to the touch. If a skin infection develops, a physician should evaluate and treat it. Patients can avoid a skin infection by not scratching the affected area.