Scabies also known as “the itch” is an intensely itching rash caused by a tiny mite (bug) that lives in the skin. Since it is only 1/60 th inch long, the scabies mite is almost impossible to see without magnification. The rash usually involves the hands, wrists, breasts, genital area, and waistline. In severe cases scabies can spread to almost the entire body, but rarely the face. Scabies often resembles other rashes. The only way to find out whether you have scabies is for a doctor to scrape off a piece of skin and examine it under a microscope.
- Scabies is caused by a little mite.
- Scabies is transmitted by close personal contact.
- Scabies is very contagious.
- Treatment consists of applying a mite-killing medication such as Dexoprin to your skin.Follow directions exactly.
- Apply the medicine before bed to all of your skin from the neck down, not just to the itching areas. Rub the medicine thoroughly into your hands, wrists, body folds, and under the fingernails. Do not wash your hands for eight hours. Wash the medicine off the next morning.
- Repeat the application as above exactly one week after the first treatment. Wash all linen and cloths in hot water.
- Your itching and rash may continue even though all the mites have been killed. This results from allergy to the mites and is called postscabetic dermatitis.
- Postscabetic dermatitis is not scabies, and requires special treatment. Don’t try to treat it with the mite-killing medicine. Your doctor will give you treatment for this complication if it develops.
- The itching rash of scabies usually clears up in 2-6 weeks if you carry out your treatment exactly as instructed and all close personal and sexual contacts are treated at the same time.