Tell Me About Scabies
How Is Scabies Diagnosed?
In order to make a scabies diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions, perform a physical exam, and possibly order certain tests.
A 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 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.
The goal of scabies treatment is to:
- Kill the scabies mites (Sarcoptes scabiei)
- Treat any family members who have been in close contact with the infested person
- Prevent the scabies from returning.
Both the patient and family members can be treated with the same medicine.
It is important that all scabies eggs and mites be killed, so all clothes, bedding, and towels used by the infested person should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer two days before beginning treatment. No special cleaning is necessary for coats, furniture, rugs, floors, and walls.
There is no home remedy for scabies. People should see their doctor so that medicine can be prescribed to kill the mites and eggs.
Norwegian scabies (also known as crusted scabies) is a more severe form of the infestation. This condition is more common in the elderly, people taking steroid medicines, or people with the following conditions:
- Senile dementia
- Brain or spinal cord conditions
- Mental conditions
- Down syndrome
- Weakened immune system conditions (such as HIV or AIDS).
(Click Norwegian Scabies for more information.)