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What Are the Symptoms Of Scabies?

Symptoms usually begin slowly, with a minor rash and itching that tends to be worse at night. Scratching spreads the mites to other areas, and, after several weeks, the symptoms worsen. At this point, common scabies symptoms can include:
  • Intense itching, especially at night and over most of the body.
  • Pimple-like irritations, burrows, or rash on the skin.
  • Scaling and redness caused by the scratching.
  • Sores on the body caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected with bacteria.
  • Small, rounded lumps (often on the penis and scrotum) that may remain for several weeks after scabies treatment.
The scabies rash is typically found on the:
  • Breasts
  • Buttocks
  • Knees
  • Penis
  • Wrists
  • Elbows
  • Webbing between the fingers
  • Shoulder blades.
(For more information, click Scabies Symptoms.) 

Making a Diagnosis

In order to make a diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions, perform a physical exam, and possibly order certain tests.
A scabies diagnosis is most commonly made by looking at the burrows or rash. The doctor will pay particular attention to where the rash is located, its appearance, and the possible symptoms of scabies the person is experiencing. A diagnosis can be confirmed by taking a skin scraping and seeing mites, eggs, or mite fecal matter when the scraping is looked at under a microscope.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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