Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
104 Erford Road
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Phone 717-763-7685

 

Scabies is a harmless but very itchy and highly contagious skin condition caused by mites that burrow into the skin and lay eggs. Symptoms include a severe itch, often worse at nighttime, and thin burrow tracks made of tiny bumps or blisters on the skin. Humans are allergic to the mites, which is what causes the itching.

Typically, scabies appear in folds of the skin, such as the armpits, around the waist, inside the wrists, between the fingers, on the soles of feet, on the back of knees, on the genitalia, or on the inner elbows. In children, they more commonly appear on the face, scalp, neck, palms and soles.  IIIIIIII IIIIIIIScabies is spread through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing clothing and linens. It is so contagious that frequently when one person in a family is diagnosed with scabies, all family members are treated for it at the same time.  II

Generally a visual examination of the skin is all that is needed to diagnose scabies. However, your dermatologist may take a small scraping of the skin to examine under a microscope to look for the scabies mites. The typical treatment is prescription medicated creams applied liberally all over the body. A pill may be prescribed for severe cases of scabies.  Even after treatment is completed,it may take some time before the sensation of itchiness begins to subside.

To help prevent further spreading, be sure to clean all clothes and linen in hot water and dry with high heat, which will kill the mites.  Dry clean items you cannot machine wash in this manner, or place the item in a sealed plastic bag and put it away for at least two weeks. Any mites that are present will die without a food source for this length of time.