Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites that
burrow into the outer layers of the skin. The scabies mites are spread through
close contact with an infested person, such as by touching or by sleeping in
the same bed.
Severe itching that is usually worse at night and a
rash with tiny blisters or sores in a line or curved track are the most common
symptoms. These symptoms usually occur between the fingers, in the creases of
the elbows or in the armpits, around the waistline, on the genitals, and around
the anus. In children, signs of scabies may also appear on the neck, face,
scalp, the palms of the hands, or the soles of the feet.
can be spread during the entire time a person is infested, even before
symptoms, such as itching and skin sores, appear. Symptoms appear 4 to 6 weeks
after a person has been infested for the first time. If a person becomes
reinfested, the symptoms are noticed within a few days.
not go away on its own. Medicine that a doctor prescribes, as a cream, lotion,
or pills, is needed to cure scabies. Delaying treatment increases the risk that
the mites will spread to other people. Bedding, towels, and clothes that have
been in contact with the infested person need to be washed.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.