Scabies: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 3/25/2020

Scabies is an infestation of the skin. Scabies can affect anyone. Among younger people, it often spreads by sexual contact, and some medical professionals consider it to be a form of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in these cases.

The characteristic symptom of scabies is intense, relentless itching of the skin. Other associated signs and symptoms of scabies include

  • a skin rash made up of small red blisters and bumps that appear on specific areas of the body as well as
  • tiny red burrows on the skin.

The itchy skin leads to frequent scratching, which may cause the skin to develop secondary bacterial infections.

Causes of scabies

Infection with the mite Sarcoptes scabiei causes scabies. Mites are small parasites and are not insects. Scabies spreads by direct skin-to-skin transmission among affected people.

Other scabies symptoms and signs

  • Intense, Relentless Itching of the Skin
  • Skin Rash of Small Red Blisters and Bumps
  • Tiny Red Burrows on the Skin


Condoms are the best protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.