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What are the Symptoms of Scabies?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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One of the most common symptoms of scabies is itchy skin. Although the area that has been affected by scabies may itch all day long, it is quite common for the itching to be at its worst during the night. The skin itself may be covered in a rash or simply have a rash in areas.

Other symptoms include sores and abrasions on the skin and thin lines on the skin that are sometimes referred to as pencil mark lines because of their shape. These pencil mark lines are the result of mites burrowing into the skin in order to deposit their eggs, which take about three weeks to mature. The rash that accompanies the thin pencil mark lines is the skin's allergic reaction to the mites.

Symptoms of scabies are likely to affect people of different age groups in different manners. Babies are generally affected in more widespread areas than older children and adults. They may show the symptoms on the trunks of their bodies as well as on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet. Young children commonly show the symptoms on their heads, necks, upper bodies, as well as on their soles and palms. Adults and older children will usually have affected areas on their wrists, hands, abdomens, and genitals.

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The best way to avoid scabies is to avoid contact with people who are suffering from the condition. Also, it is important not to share clothing and bedding with people who are suffering from scabies. This is because the mites can live in soft materials such as cloth for a time. As such, it is common for the disease to affect an entire family at once.

The symptoms of scabies and the root cause itself — the mites that cause the condition — can be treated with a topical cream. For more serious cases, oral medication may be required. Also, as the mites that cause scabies can live in fabric, it is important to wash all bed linens and clothing that may have come into contact with the person or persons experiencing the symptoms of scabies. This includes wash cloths and bath towels, all of which should be washed in hot water and bleach. Depending on how much time the person with symptoms of scabies spent sitting in cloth-covered chairs or couches, the coverings on those pieces of furniture may require cleaning as well.

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Discuss this Article

bear78
Post 3

I suspected scabies when I couldn't stop itching and nothing helped. I've never such itchy skin in my life before.

ddljohn
Post 2
@simrin-- Scabies can cause hair loss where the mites are. Scabies on animals and humans look very similar. There might be some slight differences because the type of mite that causes scabies in pets can be different than the mite that causes scabies in humans.

The main symptom of scabies in children and adults is a rash caused by the mites burrowing under the skin and also causing an allergic reaction in the body. There will be red bumps, and sometimes thickened, dry, scaly skin. You may see thin lines which is where the female mites have burrowed to leave their eggs. But the mites are not visible by the naked eye. These symptoms are usually milder in the beginning and worsen over time.

Scabies may look like some other skin infections in the beginning. Fungal and bacterial fungal infections can also cause redness and itching. But the rash caused by scabies is unique and can be identified by any dermatologist.

SteamLouis
Post 1

Are the signs and symptoms of scabies in animals and humans the same?

My dog had scabies on his ears once. His ears lost hair, and became red and dry. He would scratch his ears all day.

Will scabies be the same for humans? For example, if it's on the arm where there is hair, will the hair fall out?

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