Font Size

Scabies (cont.)

Scabies Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms occur from two to six weeks to appear after exposure. Symptoms include severe and continuous itching, especially at night. An indication that you may have scabies is if other members of your household are experiencing the same symptoms.

  • What do scabies look like? The skin may show signs of small insect-type bites, or the lesions may look like pimples. The skin may also be red or have sores due to scratching of the area. Open scabs or sores are susceptible to infection with bacteria. A burrow (a short S-shaped track that indicates the mite's movement under the skin) may also be visible. The average affected person has only five to 10 mites on their body at a time. Burrows may be small enough to be overlooked. Thus, scabies also should be considered whenever there is intense itching without an obvious rash, bite, or burrow.
  • Scabies frequently occur in the crevasses of the body such as between the fingers and toes, the buttocks, the elbows, the waist area, the genital area, and under the breasts in women. The face, neck, palms, soles and lips are usually not affected, except in infants or very young children.
  • In crusted (Norwegian) scabies, the body is covered with a thick, dry, and scaly rash. The rash of crusted scabies may or may not itch, but it contains thousands to millions of mites. Crusted scabies is the most contagious form of scabies and the hardest to treat.
  • Many other skin rashes may look like scabies including allergic drug reactions, contact dermatitis, and viral rashes such as shingles.

Must Read Articles Related to Scabies

Allergic Reaction
Allergic Reaction An allergic reaction is an overreaction to a harmless substance. Symptoms and signs of an allergic reaction include hives, rashes, swelling, itching, wheezing, ...learn more >>
Hives and Angioedema
Hives and Angioedema Hives is a sudden allergic skin reaction. Hives are raised reddish bumps that cause severe itching. Angioedema is similar to hives but the welts are larger and ...learn more >>
Rash A rash is a visible skin outbreak. Examples of noninfectious rashes include eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, hives, and al...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Scabies:

Scabies - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms and signs did you experience with your scabies?

Scabies - Effective Treatments

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your scabies?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Scabies »

Human scabies is an intensely pruritic skin infestation caused by the host-specific mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary