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Symptoms of Scabies

After an initial infestation takes place, symptoms of scabies can take four to six weeks to develop. For someone who has had it before, symptoms can begin within several days. Symptoms usually begin slowly, with a minor rash and itching that is often worse at night. Other common scabies symptoms include pimple-like irritations, sores caused by scratching, and small rounded lumps.

Signs and Symptoms of Scabies: An Introduction

When a person becomes infected with the scabies mite (Sarcoptes scabiei), the amount of time before symptoms begins can vary. For someone who has never had the condition, it can take four to six weeks for symptoms to appear. For someone who has had an infestation before, symptoms can begin within several days.
 

Common Scabies Symptoms

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

Symptoms in Infants

Infants are more likely than adults to have widespread scabies infection. This is because often the scabies diagnosis is delayed or the condition is believed to be another common rash seen in children, such as eczema, dry skin, or another infection.
 
Infants may have the irritations on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. While the face and scalp rarely are affected in adults, scabies of the face and scalp are more common in infants.
 
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