Scabies

Human scabies; Sarcoptes scabiei

Scabies is an easily-spread skin disease caused by a very small mite.

Scabies rash and excoriation on the hand

Rash and open scratches from a scabies infection. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Scabies mite, photomicrograph

This is a photomicrograph of the scabies mite. This animal burrows in the skin, depositing both eggs and feces. Scabies infestation causes intense itching (pruritus) which leads to scratching and damage of the skin (excoriation). The infestation may last for years without treatment and has been called the "seven year itch".

Scabies mite, photomicrograph of the stool

This is a photomicrograph of scabies feces in skin scrapings. This material is thought to cause an allergic-type reaction which may be responsible for the intense itching. The itching may persist long after the scabies mites are killed because the dead eggs and mite feces remain in the skin.

Scabies mite, photomicrograph

This is a highly-magnified photograph of the mite that causes scabies.

Scabies mite, photomicrograph

This is a photomicrograph of the scabies mite. They burrows into the skin, depositing both eggs and feces. A scabies infestation causes intense itching (pruritus) which leads to scratching and damage of the skin (excoriation). If left untreated, the infestation may last for years, and has been called the "seven year itch".

Scabies mite, eggs, and stool photomicrograph

This is a photomicrograph of a skin scraping that contains a scabies mite, eggs, and feces. This animal burrows into the skin, depositing both eggs and feces. A scabies infestation causes intense itching (pruritus) which leads to scratching and damage of the skin (excoriation). If left untreated, the infestation may last for years, and has been called the "seven year itch".

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional