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Symptoms of Scabies

Snr By Dr Poonam Sachdev , Expert Content / Apr 04, 2012
Symptoms of Scabies

Signs and symptoms of scabies in most cases are very apparent. Most cases of scabies can be diagnosed clinically based on the signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of scabies in most cases are very apparent. Most cases of scabies can be diagnosed clinically based on the signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of scabies include:

  • Intense itching (which is more severe at night).
  • Skin rash (appear as tiny red bumps that look like bites or pimples).

Symptoms of scabies start about four to six weeks after getting infected with the mite. If you are exposed to any one with scabies, get rechecked up to six weeks after you think you may have been exposed or if you develop symptoms.

Itch in scabies: This is the most common symptom of scabies. The itch of scabies is insidious and relentless, which is usually worse at night. Intense itch can disturb sleep or lead to loss of sleep at night. In the first few weeks after getting infected, the itch is mild that gradually becomes more intense. After a month or two, itching can become severe and disturb sleep. Itching and disturbance of sleep due to itching can make children with scabies cranky or tired from lack of sleep.

Skin rash: The skin rash in scabies is composed of small red bumps (or papules) and blisters usually on specific areas of the body (such as webs between the fingers, the wrists and the rear of the elbows, the knees, around the waist and umbilicus, the axiliary folds, the areas around the nipples, the sides and backs of the feet, the genital area and the buttocks). The bumps (medically known as papules) often have blood crusts. All the papules or pimples do not contain a bug. Most healthy people with scabies have no more than 10-15 live mites even if there are hundreds of bumps and pimples.

Textbook description of scabies has the terms "burrows" or "tunnels." The burrows are tiny threadlike projections, varying in size from 2 mm-15 mm long and appear as thin gray, brown or red lines in the affected areas. The burrows are difficult to see and are usually destroyed by scratching. Linear scratch marks on skin may be mistaken for a burrow.

The tiny blisters or bumps of scabies can involve any part of your body. The usual areas which are involved in adults include:

  • Web of fingers (folds in between the fingers and toes).
  • Bends at the wrists and knees.
  • Waist (area around the belt line).
  • Under fingernails and along the insides of wrists.
  • Folds in thighs and genitals.
  • Under rings, watch bands and bracelets.
  • In women, in the area around the nipples.
  • In armpits.
  • Around the male genital area.
  • On buttocks.
  • On shoulder blades.

Common sites of infestation in children are:

  • Scalp.
  • Face.
  • Neck.
  • Palms of the hands.
  • Soles of the feet.





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