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What are the Different Signs of Scabies?

Lauren Romano
Lauren Romano

Human scabies, caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, is a very itchy and contagious skin condition that is the result of an allergic reaction to the mite. It is transferred from direct skin-to-skin contact and symptoms can show up anywhere from one day to six weeks after contact. In addition to severe itching, the most common signs of scabies are small bumps or blisters on the skin in the form of lines.

It is possible for anyone anywhere to get scabies. Prolonged close contact, typically sexual contact, is the most common way for someone to contract scabies. For those who have had it before, signs may appear within a few days. Those who have never had it before will likely see signs weeks after contracting it.

Signs of scabies may include severe itching.
Signs of scabies may include severe itching.

Signs of scabies are likely to pop up on the waist, between the fingers, in armpits, around and on the breasts of women, on the inner elbows, on knees and on the genitals of men. On children, signs will likely be on the head, neck, hands and feet. Until the mites are killed, symptoms will persist and can continue to get worse.

Itching is one of the worst signs of scabies. It can be incredibly severe, usually at night. The beginning stages of the itching feel similar to when someone would have extremely dry skin. After awhile, the itching can be so incessant that it is basically impossible to sleep at all.

Another one of the signs of scabies is small bumps or blisters that develop on the surface of the skin. They typically form bumpy, redish or brownish curving lines. These bumps are actually tracks left behind from the mite burrowing underneath the skin.

Repeatedly scratching the small bumps or blisters can break them open. This can cause the affected area to be sore and look red and blotchy. As they are now open, it's possible to transfer bacteria from fingernails to the area, which can cause it to become infected. Despite the severe itching, it's vital to restrain from scratching the area to avoid making the condition worse.

It is vital to see a doctor as soon as signs of scabies are noticed. The doctor can prescribe lotion or another type of medication to help ease the symptoms and cure the condition. Any clothing worn or linens used also need to be washed thoroughly in hot water and then dried on a high heat setting to kill the mites. Anyone who had skin-to-skin contact with the infected person should also visit a doctor to receive treatment since scabies is not immediately noticeable once contracted.

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    • Signs of scabies may include severe itching.
      By: Lovrencg
      Signs of scabies may include severe itching.