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Welcome, eCureMe.com medical contents search April 26, 2013
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Scabies

more about Scabies


  • Scabies is an infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei.  Infections occur when newly fertilized female mites are transferred from person-to-person through close contact.  Crowded, unclean conditions and sexual promiscuity increase the risk of contracting scabies.  Medical personnel are also at increased risk of infection.

  • Severe itching of the infected area
  • Blisters or scabbed blisters in runs or burrows on finger webs, the heel of palms, and wrist creases
  • Small red raised lesions on the penis shaft
  • Symptoms do not usually develop until at least 4 to 6 weeks after the infection begins; during that time, children with scabies are infectious and can pass the disease on to others, unaware that they have it themselves.
  • Children with scabies will usually have other family members with the same symptoms.

  • Scrapings of lesion are viewed under a microscope.  The presence of mites, ova (eggs), or feces confirms the diagnosis.
  • Burrow ink test involves ink's being placed on the burrow and then scraped.  The mite, ova, and feces can be seen under the microscope.

  • Contact with others who have the disease.

  • Bedding and clothing should be cleaned and set aside for 48 hours.  Bed sheets, and any clothing worn next to the skin, should be washed in hot water and dried on the highest possible settings to kill any mites present.

- If an item cannot be washed, it should be stored for several days to a week, since the mites cannot live longer than 4 days without human contact, this will prevent reinfestation from those articles of clothing.

  • A one-time application of Permethrin 5% cream for 8 to 12 hours is recommended.  This regimen is safe and effective.
  • Lindane cream is more toxic than Permethrin and may pose dangerous side effects in children due to potential neurotoxicity.  However, it may be safely used in teenagers.
  • Benzyl benzoate lotion may also be applied
  • Corticosteroids may be used for dermatitis (skin inflammation) that are caused by scabies.

- It is important to note that, because the itching is due to the body's reaction to the infection, it will continue for several weeks after successful treatment for the infection.


  • Areas of itchiness should be watched for signs of bacterial infection or cellulitis; the intense scratching may break the skin's surface and allow bacteria to penetrate.

  • See your doctor for more information on how to treat your child.

  • Children with scabies should be kept out of school and daycare until they are treated.
  • Unfortunately, as noted above, most patients can pass the infection to others before they develop symptoms themselves.  This makes prevention difficult.

  • Pediculosis (lice)




more about Scabies


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