SCABIES – Mite, Images, What causes Scabies, Symptoms and Treatment

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Scabies is a dermatological disorder caused by mite named as Sarcoptes scabiei. It is a highly contagious skin disease. Scabies spreads to close contacts through dresses, bedsheets, and skin to skin contact. Sarcoptes scabiei enters into the skin by penetration and form burrow (tract within the skin). It is a water-washed disease.


Skin itching is a major symptom in Scabies. Itching occurs where mites live within the skin and itching increases during the night. Commonly involved areas are…

  • Inter digital space i.e, in between fingers.
  • Armpit.
  • Around Genitalia.
  • Buttocks.
  • Inner Wrist.
  • Soles.
  • Inner elbow.

Scabies usually spares the face and scalp in adults but in infants and children in also involves these areas.

Itching sometimes damages skin and secondary bacterial infection occurs. Most commonly Staph Aureus infection causes impetigo along with Scabies.

There is a special type of scabies known as Norwegian Scabies. Here, the thick crust is formed within the skin. It is commonly seen in patients of Down Syndrome.


Scabies is usually diagnosed clinically through history and physical examination. Sometimes, skin scraping is done and seen under the microscope to see the mites or ova.


Scabies treatment is done to kill mites and control itching dermatitis. Treating only the patient is not beneficiary to control Scabies. Close contacts and family members of the patient should be treated at the same time even if they are asymptotic. Bedding and clothing should be cleaned with high heat to kill the mite or ova.

  • Topical Permethrin – Scabies is best treated by 5% permethrin topically. It is applied over the body from neck to toes and kept overnight(at least 10-12 hours) and cleaning in the morning dose must be repeated after 1 week. 5% permethrin is also safe during pregnancy.
  • Oral antihistamine – Along with topical scabicidal oral antihistamines must be given to stop itching. Cetirizine, Levocetirizine, Desloratadine, Ebastine are used for symptomatic relief in Scabies.
  • Oral Antibiotics – As we know scabies is often associated with a secondary bacterial infection like staphylococcus aureus. It must be treated with oral antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Cefixime, Azithromycin, etc.
  • Oral Ivermectin – Scabies is usually cured by topical scabicidal medications only in case of resistant scabies or immunocompromised patients Ivermectin is used orally. (200microgm/kg) as a single dose. The dose may be repeated after 2 weeks. It is very much useful for mass treatment in a specific area or villages or institution.

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