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Scabies - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Whta is scabies?

Sarcoptes scabiei is a very tiny mite which when gets infested in the skin is known as scabies. These microscopic Sarcoptes scabiei mites can live in the body for approximately 2 months. These mites reproduce on the surface of our skin, then burrows into the skin and lay eggs for regrowth. Scabies causes pimple like, very itchy rashes on the skin.According to World Health Organization, there are approximately 300 million cases of this skin disease every year. Scabies is highly contagious and can pass from one person to another, through contact of the skin, very easily. It can also get transmitted through scabies infested bedding and clothes.

Although this skin malady is extremely irritating, but scabies infestation can be treated effectively. The treatment of this disease generally consists of medications that kills these mites and their eggs. Since this disease is so contagious, doctors generally recommend treatment for an entire group of people who are in close and frequent contact with the scabies infected patient.Apart from the stated reasons, scabies can also spread by holding hands for a prolonged period of time or from intimate contact like sexual intercourse. Doctors generally are able to diagnose scabies by simply performing a physical examination and by inspecting the affected zone in the skin. In many a cases, the doctor can even confirm the diagnosis by extricating the mite from the skin with the aid of a needle. If the mite can’t be found easily, the doctor may scrape off a small section of the patient’s skin in order to obtain a sample tissue. This sample is then examined under a microscope to find the scabies mites or their eggs.

Treatment :

The treatment for this irritating skin disease usually involves getting rid of the mite infestation with the help of prescription creams, ointments and lotions, those that can be applied directly on the site of the infestation.The doctor generally advises the patients to apply the medications during the night, when these mites are most active. In most of the cases you may need to treat all the skin, starting from the neck down. The medicine can then be washed off the next morning.

Symptoms :

The symptoms of scabies generally get worse during the first week of the treatment. Nevertheless, after the primary week, the patients generally suffer from less itching and if the doctor’s instructions are followed properly, the patient should get completely cured by the fourth week. If you find that your skin hasn’t healed by 30 days, you can be very sure that the healing has not been complete.As scabies mites can live for 48 to 72 hours after they have left your body, make sure that you take proper measures that they do not re-infest again.

Make sure you wash all your clothing, beddings, towels and pillows in warm water (122°F) to kill the mites that has fallen off from your body.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test sometimes required Spread through the air or contaminated surfaces
Itching is one of the main symptoms of scabies. Continuous scratching of the infected area can create sores. Rashes that look more akin to tiny blisters and pimple like bumps.

Popular Health Tips

A Brief Insight Into Scabies, Its Causes, And Treatment!

Dermatologist, Noida
A Brief Insight Into Scabies, Its Causes, And Treatment!

A highly contagious skin condition that is caused by the infestations of tiny burrowing mites but is treatable with medication is Scabies. When the skin comes in direct contact with infested bedding or clothing, microscopic human mites, known as Sarcoptes Scabiei, are transmitted into the skin, burrowing into the epidermis. Once the mites reach the epidermis, it lays eggs there and continues to live, causing scabies which results in skin rashes and itchy bumps.

Scabies is caused by the microscopic human itch mite when it burrows inside the epidermis. And there are two ways that a person can be infected with scabies, which are:

  1. Contact with objects infested: Sometimes, when the mite is present on an object, such as the bed sheet or the upholstered furniture, the towel or the bedding, and the skin comes in contact with these objects, scabies may spread. However, one must know that without human skin contact, the mite can survive only for 48 to 72 hours and this makes the risk of causing scabies through contact with infected objects less common.
  2. Direct skin to skin contact: Scabies is contagious but not highly contagious. Skin contact for a small period of time can not infect a person. Close physical with the infected person can lead to the spread of mites.

It is to be noted here that getting scabies from animals is not possible even if the animal has mites as this kind of scabies infest the human skin only.

Scabies is often confused with other skin issues like eczema and psoriasis. Therefore, every person with severe itching should be tested for scabies. Once diagnosed, the treatment is relatively simple. Listed below are some of the treatment options:

  1. Antibiotics: Patients who are suffering from excessive skin rash, itching and infections are usually treated with antibiotics to ease the itchy sensation.
  2. Decontamination: The decontamination involves washing the clothes of the infected person in hot water and keeping the objects that cannot be washed in a bag for around 2 to 3 days to kill mites and their eggs.
  3. Scabicides: Depending on the severity, overall health and age, the patient may be prescribed oral medication and creams.
  4. Antihistamine: Antihistamine refers to over-the-counter anti-allergy drugs that can also be of help in managing the itching and rashes.

Things to remember:

  1. In case of infected adults, scabicide cream or lotion needs to be applied all over infected person’s body, starting from the neck down to the toes.
  2. If a child is infected with scabies, the scabicide cream or lotion needs to be applied from head to toe.
  3. In case of an infant, it is advised that only sulfur ointment or permethrin may be used. It is essential that the medication is applied only over a clean body.
  4. All the people living with the infected person should also be treated simultaneously to avoid reinfestation.

As scabies spread moderately contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent it from spreading further and causing any more trouble.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Scabies - How Dermatological Treatment Can Help?

MBBS, DDV, Aesthetic medicine
Dermatologist, Delhi
Scabies - How Dermatological Treatment Can Help?

The development of bumps and blisters on your skin surface accompanied by severe itching are the symptoms of a skin condition known as scabies. It is caused by a burrowing mite called sarcoptes scabiei. A patient experiences itching in the affected area and the urge for itching gets increased during the night. Scabies is a contagious disease and spreads rapidly among people via a physical contact.

Thin and irregular burrow tracks or blisters are common symptoms of scabies. These tracks generally appear in the folds of the skin. Commonly, scabies appears in the following areas:

  1. Between the fingers
  2. In the armpits
  3. Around the waist and along the insides of the wrist
  4. On the inner elbow, soles of the feet
  5. Around the breasts, buttocks, knees and shoulder blades

In case you had scabies previously, the symptoms usually develop within a few days after exposure. For first-time occurrences, six weeks are required for the symptoms to appear.

The eight-legged female mite which causes scabies burrows beneath the skin, produces a tunnel and deposits egg in it. After being hatched, the mite travels to the skin surface. Here they become mature and spread to other areas. The body’s allergic reaction to the mites, the eggs and their waste material causes the itching. Vigorous scratching of the scabies infected skin can break the skin, allowing a secondary bacterial infection to develop, like impetigo. A severe type of scabies known as crusted scabies can affect some people.

Crusted scabies usually affects people suffering from chronic heart diseases due to which the body’s immune system gets weakened. People who are very sick, hospitalised and aged people in nursing homes may develop crusted scabies. This type of scabies is scaly and crusty, covers large areas all over the body and is difficult to cure.

Treatment of scabies
The involves the elimination of the developments using medicines. There are several lotions and creams, which can be used on a doctor’s prescription for treatment. These creams should be applied all over the body. After the application, the medication should be left for eight hours. In case of recurrence of rashes and burrows, a second treatment may be required.

It is important to consult a doctor for proper treatment of scabies. Usually, treatment is recommended for all family members and close friends of an affected person, even though no symptoms of scabies appear in these people. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.

2849 people found this helpful

Vaginal Rashes - What Do They Indicate?

MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Advanced Infertility
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Vaginal Rashes - What Do They Indicate?

What is a vaginal rash?

Although vaginal rashes can be identified with non infectious conditions, for example, hypersensitive responses and contact dermatitis, many are because of sexually transmitted diseases. The zone around the vagina might be blushed with sores or blisters or it might hold its typical shading yet have bumps. Different side effects, for example, discharge, burning sensation during urination, pain or tingling, may likewise happen.

Not all sexually transmitted diseases cause vaginal rashes; the ones that most regularly do are syphilis, genital herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV). Genital herpes normally causes groups of excruciating red blisters that might be irritated. Syphilis might be connected with a lone, painless, red sore on the vulva that might be followed by a rash on the hands and feet. Genital warts may develop as an after effect of HPV disease.

What is it caused by?

It can happen as a result of rubbing against the skin, like from uncomfortable underwear or rough sanitary napkins. These are not harmful and non-contagious. Also, these are usually minor and get cured with home remedies.

  1. Contact Dermatitis: This can be caused when you come in contact with a substance that can cause irritation or an allergy. This is called contact dermatitis. It can be very itchy, but it is not serious very often.

  2. Pubic lice: These are caused by tiny parasites, such as insects that survive by sucking on blood from humans.

  3. Candidiasis (yeast infections): This can cause rashes in the moist folds of the vaginal skin.

  4. Scabies: It is a skin condition, which can get very itchy and is caused due to little mites digging into your skin.

  5. Psoriasis: These are characterised by little red or wine red coloured bumps with silvery scaly skin on top of that. It is commonly found on the knees, elbow or scalp, but it can occur on any part of the body. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

4238 people found this helpful

Eczema - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Dermatologist, Mumbai
Eczema - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Eczema is not a disease per se, but is a name given collectively to a group of medical conditions, which can cause the skin to become inflamed and irritated. Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common types of eczema.


While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the most commonly attributed reason is an increasingly sensitive immune system. The overactive immune system produces antibodies, which cause these skin reactions. It is also noted that people with allergies including hay fever and asthma are more likely to develop eczema.

Other conditions which can lead to eczema include allergic dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, scabies, fungal infections, xerotic dermatitis, lichen planus and scalp infections.

There is also a genetic predisposition, and children whose parents have had eczema are likely to develop eczema.


In most people, eczema is present in the form of small blisters, which are filled with fluid and can ooze. Gradually, there could be dryness, crusting, scaling and thickening of the skin with plaque formation. The most common symptom would be itching. The different types of eczema as noted above would have diagnostic features. For instance, when testing for irritant or contact dermatitis, there would be an irritant that is causing this. Stasis dermatitis would have circulatory issues and often affects the lower legs.

In fair-skinned people, these lesions begin as red and then turn brown. There also could be lightening of the affected skin area in people with slightly darker skin.


For a trained medical eye, diagnosis of eczema is not a tough task. A complete physical examination may be done to assess the extent of eczema spread. Blood tests may be done to test for allergies. In very rare cases, a biopsy may also be required.


The goal of treatment is to reduce itching and improve moisturization. Eczema, unless associated with an infection, is not contagious.

  1. Using copious amounts of creams and lotions help in improving hydration and moisturization, as they are allowed to soak into the skin.

  2. Topical steroids may be required if allergy is suspected. In most cases, hydrocortisone and corticosteroid creams are very effective.

  3. Associated infections like scalp infections and fungal infections should also be treated with suitable products.

  4. Immunomodulator creams like Elidel are useful by suppressing the immune system and preventing flare up of the allergic reactions.

  5. Cold compresses may be used to relieve itching.


Since there is a strong genetic component related to eczema, prevention is helpful.

  1. Constantly keep the skin moist and hydrated by using moisturizers, especially during winters.

  2. Avoid clothes and metals which can cause allergy- like wool, nickel, harsh soaps, detergents, etc.

  3. Avoid or be careful about food items which are known to cause allergies. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.

3590 people found this helpful

Symptoms and Treatment of Scabies

Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL), MBBS
Dermatologist, Thane
Symptoms and Treatment of Scabies

Infestation on the skin caused by a tiny insect called Sarcoptes scabiei, which live on the skin up to 2 months, is called Scabies. Reproduction occurs on the surface of the skin and later they tunnel into the skin and lay eggs. This forms an extremely irritated, pimple-like rash structure on the skin.

Despite the fact that scabies can be troublesome, the infestation can usually be dealt with successfully. Treatment commonly comprises of drugs that eliminate the scabies parasites and their eggs. Since scabies is so infectious, specialists usually prescribe treatment for a whole gathering of individuals who come in successive contact with people having scabies.

Symptoms: Typical symptoms such as rashes and intense itching, appear up to 6 weeks since initial exposure. Infected sores, which may require additional treatment, are formed due to continuous scratching. Common sites for occurrence in babies are head, neck, face and hands while in adults, it occurs on the wrist, elbow, waist, penis, armpits, etc. The rash comprises of small blisters or pimple-like knocks which are the tunnel tracks of the mite apparent on the skin.

A more severe form of the condition, called crusted scabies may be developed in some people. This condition which is highly contagious is marked by thick crusts containing thousands of eggs and mites which developed on the skin. It usually occurs in people with weak immune systems. The mites are capable of overpowering the immune system and multiplying at a higher rate.

Treatment: Typical treatment includes disposing of the infestation with medicine balms, creams, and moisturizers. It is advisable to apply the cream all over the body and at night, when the mites are active.
Amid the main week of treatment, it might appear as though the symptoms are worsening. Nonetheless, after the initial week, you'll see less tingling and you should have recovered by the fourth week of treatment.

Precautions should be taken to prevent re-infestation as the mites are capable of living up to 72 hours after being abolished from the body. All clothing must be washed with hot water (122F). This should be followed by drying of the items at a high temperature for half an hour. Finally, the dried items should be vacuumed.

3823 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My daughter aged 2 months, is suffering from scabies. Our doctor has prescribed mocin ointment, crotorax lotion and cyphon drop. But the scabies recurring again and again. Now please advice me and whether cyphon drops are safe. Please advice.

MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Gurgaon
First confirm the diagnosis of scabies as paedatric scabies has different picture than adults. Someone in your house must be having scabies for this transmission to happen. At one month of age, the only approved drug is colloidal sulphur (8% to 10%) in white vaseline to be applied for 3 continuous days with 12 hours gap. Nothing else is needed.

How to get instantly rid from scabies disease. Intense itching also occurring. Cuts are also there due to itching, How can the cuts be recovered. These are irritating me.

Dermatologist, Nagpur
Scabeis is a disease caused by scabies mite. It is very contagious. For further details and treatment book a text consultation.
1 person found this helpful

I am 19 year old male I am troubled with Scabies .I have taken cetrizine omnacortil betnesol and phenergan but these drugs gave relief in only itching not a permanent cure for it Please tell me permanent treatment for itchy dry rash.

Dermatologist, Mumbai
Hi lybrate-user, well firstly it needs to b confined that you have scabies, because the medicines you hav taken aren't for scabies. Do consult a Dermatologist for the same.
1 person found this helpful

My 5 years daughter is suffering from scabies as diagnosed by dermatologist, tried with gamma benzene hexachloride & centromere lotions as directed by doctors even after 15 days the symptoms have worsen kindly help.

MBBS, DNB (Pediatrics), MD - Paediatrics, Diploma in Child Health (DCH)
Pediatrician, Gurgaon
Hello there, scabies is a very troublesome condition among children which recurrence very frequently. Initial treatment given to your child is correct. Additionally you should also clean the childs cloths in boiling water to kill all the scabies mite and eggs. You can send me picture of lesion by personnel message for further treatment .

Table of Content

Whta is scabies?

Treatment :

Symptoms :

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice