Most cases of scabies can be diagnosed by describing the symptoms to the doctor and by examination of the skin. There is no blood test for scabies.
- Sometimes, the doctor will do a skin scraping to make or confirm the diagnosis. This is performed by placing a drop of oil or saline on top of an affected area
of skin. Then using a scalpel, the area is scraped, and the material that was collected is placed on a slide to examine under a microscope. The doctor will look for the mite or its eggs.
- The doctor may perform a felt-tip-marker test by drawing a washable felt-tip marker across the rash and then wiping it off with alcohol. This may help to identify a burrow because the ink penetrates deep into the skin.
- Often, there are very few mites that can be hard to find. Therefore, even if the scrapings are negative, the doctor may still recommend treatment if he or she is very suspicious that scabies is present.
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