Scabies is caused by an infection with a microscopic mite, which is actually a tiny arthropod related to the tick. This mite burrows under a person's skin, causing a rash. However, just having a rash doesn't mean you have scabies. Where the rash is located is important. Common areas on the body where scabies may be present include:
In order to determine if you have an infestation, your doctor will ask for info about your symptoms and will look at where on the body the rash is located. If necessary, he or she may take a skin scraping from the area and look at it under a microscope.
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment can begin. This involves laundering all towels, bedding, and clothing, and possibly also medication.
(Click Scabies for more info on conditions where this disease is likely to spread, other symptoms, if there is a home remedy, and more.)