Scabies: Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of scabies include:
Itching, mainly at night: Itching is the most common symptom. The itch can be so intense that it keeps a person awake at night.
Rash: Many people get the scabies rash. This rash causes little bumps that often form a line. The bumps can look like hives, tiny bites, knots under the skin, or pimples. Some people develop scaly patches that look like eczema.
Sores: Scratching the itchy rash can cause sores. An infection can develop in the sores.
Thick crusts on the skin: Crusts form when a person develops a severe type of scabies called crusted scabies. Another name for crusted scabies is Norwegian scabies. With so many mites burrowing in the skin, the rash and itch become severe. You’ll find more information about crusted scabies below.
The severe itch can lead to constant scratching. With non-stop scratching, an infection can develop. Non-stop scratching can even lead to sepsis, a sometimes life-threatening condition that develops when the infection enters the blood.
Scabies can develop anywhere on the skin. The mites, however, prefer to burrow in certain parts of the body. The most common places to have itching and a rash are:
Hands: Mites like to burrow in the skin between the fingers and around the nails. Arms: Mites like the elbows and wrists.
Skin usually covered by clothing or jewelry: The buttocks, belt line, penis, and skin around the nipples are likely places for mites to burrow. Mites also like to burrow in skin covered by a bracelet, watchband, or ring.
In adults, the mites rarely burrow into skin above the neck.
Scabies rash: Small, pus-filled bumps on the sole are often a sign of scabies in infants and young children.
What causes scabies?
1. The human itch mite causes scabies. People get scabies when the mite burrows into the skin. You can get the mite on your skin through: Direct skin-to-skin contact.
2. Contact with an infested object such as a towel, bedding, or upholstered furniture.
3. You cannot get scabies from an animal that has mites. Only humans get this type of scabies.
4. Most people will not get scabies from a handshake or hug. The skin-to-skin contact must be longer for a mite to crawl from one person to another. Adults often get scabies through sexual contact.
How do dermatologists treat scabies?
To get rid of scabies, treatment is essential. Medicine that treats scabies is only available with a doctor’s prescription.Back to Skin Condition Library >