What is the Connection Between Scabies and Mites?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2019
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The primary connection between scabies and mites is that scabies is a skin condition caused by small mites. These insects burrow just below the skin and can cause an allergic reaction which leads to intense itching and skin irritation. Anyone can be infected with scabies, and those in all social classes are affected.

Human scabies and mites can cause redness, itching, and eventually scarring on the skin. Infection is diagnosed by a dermatologist who can take a skin sample and examine it under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis. Scabies is generally treated with a topical ointment containing an insecticide.

Scabies is more common in heavily populated areas, and it is highly contagious from person to person. It is very common for an entire family to become infected, especially those who share towels or bedding. During treatment, sometimes all members of a household may be treated even if one or more individuals is not showing symptoms. Bedding should be washed in hot water to avoid re-infestation, but it does not typically require treatment with an insecticide.


The scabies and mites which infect humans should not be confused with another common mite which infects dogs. Mange is a similar skin condition caused by a mite which affects canines and can lead to intense itching and loss of fur. Although it is also caused by a mite, it is another species and does not generally infect humans. Treatments may be similar to human varieties, however, and the skin is usually treated with a topical cream.

An infestation by scabies and mites is not typically serious, but it should be treated by a medical professional. Occasionally, intense itching and scratching can lead to a more serious skin infection. The discomfort associated with scabies is also not pleasant and relief will only be available with proper treatment. Patients should use the entire recommended dosage of medication.

The best preventative measures for scabies is to wash bedding frequently and practice good hygiene. Unfortunately, many times there is no way to prevent scabies infection. Those with the condition should avoid direct contact with others until the infection is cleared. Children are more likely to contract a scabies infection because they often come in very close contact with other children and are prone to share garments and other items.



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