Scabies

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What Is "Norwegian Scabies"?

Scabies is a well-known infection that results in a particularly relentless and devastating itch that starts out slowly and increases in severity over time. The mites that cause the condition, scientifically known as Sarcoptes scabiei, burrow into the skin of infected humans. While they are so tiny that it's not possible to see them with the naked eye, they can be appreciated by examination with a magnifying glass or microscope.

Quick GuideScabies Pictures Slideshow: Stop the Itch Mite

Scabies Pictures Slideshow: Stop the Itch Mite

Scabies facts

  • Scabies is an itchy, highly contagious skin disease caused by an infestation by the itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei.
  • Direct skin-to-skin contact is the mode of transmission.
  • A severe and relentless itch is the predominant symptom of scabies.
  • Sexual contact is the most common form of transmission among sexually active young people, and scabies has been considered by many to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD), although not all cases are transmitted sexually.
  • Signs and symptoms of scabies include a skin rash composed of small red bumps and blisters that affects specific areas of the body. Other symptoms can include tiny red burrows on the skin and relentless itching. The itchy skin leads to frequent scratching, which may predispose the skin to secondary infections.
  • Treatment includes oral or topical scabicidal drugs.
  • Over-the-counter remedies or home remedies are not effective in eliminating scabies. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 4/20/2016
References
REFERENCE:

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Parasites - Scabies." Nov. 2, 2010.

IMAGE SOURCES:

1. Pixtal Images

2. MedicineNet

3. iStock

4. Getty Images / John Howard

5. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology Klaus Wolff, Richard Allen Johnson, Dick Suurmond Copyright 2005, 2001, 1997, 1993 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights reserved.

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14. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine Klaus Wolff, Lowell A. Goldsmith, Stephen I. Katz, Barbara A Gilchrest, Amy S. Paller, David J. Leffell Seventh Edition Copyright 2008, 2005, 2001, 1997, 1993 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights reserved.

15. iStock / CDC

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