Scabies is a skin infestation caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, which burrows into the skin and causes intense itching and a characteristic rash. Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate scabies:
- Intense itching: The hallmark symptom of scabies is intense itching, which often becomes worse at night.
- Rash: Scabies causes a specific type of rash that looks like small, red bumps or blisters. The rash may be raised and bumpy and typically appears in the folds of the skin, such as between fingers, wrists, elbows, armpits, waist, genital area or buttocks.
- Burrows: The mites responsible for scabies create burrows in the skin, which appear as tiny, grayish-white, raised or wavy lines that are often hard to see.
- Spread: Scabies is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person through close physical contact, such as sexual contact, sharing clothing or bedding, or living in close quarters.
If you suspect you may have scabies, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. A skin scraping test is often used to confirm the diagnosis, and prescription medications are typically needed to eliminate the mites and relieve symptoms.