Scabies rash treatment Causes & symptoms

Drawing of a hand infected by scabies itch mite. Credit:

Table of Contents

What is scabies?

Scabies (pronounced skay-bees) is an infestation, not an infection. It is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis) this eight-legged mite that causes scabies rash in humans is microscopic. The female mite burrows just beneath your skin and makes a tunnel where it laid eggs inside it.

The most common symptoms of scabies rash are intense itchiness and a pimple-like skin rash.

What is Norwegian crusted scabies?

Crusted scabies may be a terribly severe infestation involving tens of thousands of mites on one person. It’s additionally referred to as Norwegian scabies. Due to weakened immune systems, Persons with encrusted scabies cause skin to develop thick crusts filled with mites and eggs. Persons with crusted scabies are terribly contagious to other persons and might unfold the infestation easily.  Persons with a crusted itch should receive fast and aggressive medical treatment for their infestation to stop outbreaks of scabies.


Is scabies contagious?

The answer to that question is yes; Scabies rash is contagious and can spread very easily by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has it. in a family, childcare group, school class, nursing home or prison, these type of crowded conditions where close body and skin contact is frequent are a common site of scabies infestations. But likely the scabies mite can’t jump or fly, and it crawls very slowly.

Because scabies rash is therefore contagious, doctors usually suggest treatment for entire families or contact groups. 

Is scabies caused by poor hygiene?

However, anyone can get scabies. It strikes people of all ages, races, and income levels whatever their living situation and socioeconomic status. People who are very clean and neat can get the infection

Scabies is estimated to infect over 300 million humans worldwide each year, including 1 million people in the United States.


Can scabies be cured?

Don’t worry, the good news is that a dermatologist can successfully diagnose and treat scabies, Medications applied to your skin kill the mites that cause scabies rash and their eggs. Scabies only causes short-term distress, but you may still have some itching for several weeks after treatment.

See that section: “scabies treatment

Is there a vaccine for scabies?

Currently, there is no vaccine against scabies; although currently more work is required to better understand the interaction between the host immune system and the scabies mite, and it will probably take a lot of years for a vaccine to become available.

What are scabies symptoms and the signs?

When a person is infested with scabies rash for the first time, it can take four to six weeks for the skin to react; you can still spread scabies even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms yet.


Scabies symptoms and signs include:

  • Severe itching, especially at night Itching is one of the most common scabies symptoms.

  • A pimple-like rash when the mite burrows into the skin, it forms burrow tracks, or lines, which are found in skin folds, and resemble hives, bites, knots, pimples, or patches of scaly skin, Blisters.

  • Scratching the rash can cause skin sores; sometimes these sores become infected by bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus).

  • Thick crusts: Crusted scabies, or Norwegian scabies we can talk about this condition when hundreds of mite eggs are harbored within skin crusts.


How to diagnose scabies

In most cases, a doctor can recognize scabies based on the appearance of the rash also on the patient’s comments as well. Occasionally a skin scraping is employed to confirm the diagnosing. This involves collecting skin from the affected zone and using a microscope can determine mites.

Can I see scabies mites?

To the naked eye, they may look like little black dots on the skin. The laboratory uses the microscope to identify and see scabies from a skin scraping because the mite cannot be seen with the naked eye.

How do you know if you’ve got scabies or not?

  1. Picture of some skin disease


Scabies could be mistaken for different skin conditions due to the rash appearance indistinguishable. These pictures illustrate some skin diseases. What distinguishes scabies is a severe itch.

Picture of some skin disease:

Image of an arm infested with Sarcoptes scabiei. Credit:
Human skin conditions pictures. Credit:
Scabies on foot picture. Credit:
Scabies on the hand Credit:
Secondary bacterial infection in scabies, Credit:
Close up image of a patch of human skin with a rash infection. Credit:


  1. What does scabies rash look like on your skin? (Scabies Burrows)

Another sign of infection is that the look of track-like burrows among the skin. These raised lines are usually grayish-white or skin-colored. They are created once female mites tunnel just under the surface of the skin. Once creating a burrow, each female lays 10 to twenty-five eggs within.

Where does scabies start on the body?

Scabies rash is most often found in the human body in:

  • in between the fingers

  • In the armpits

  • waistline

  • Along the insides of the wrists

  • inner elbow

  • On the soles of the feet

  • the breasts, especially around the nipples

  • On the penis

  • in the buttocks

  • On the knees

What causes scabies?

Frequently Asked Questions about Scabies rash:

How do you get scabies rash?

The female mite lays its eggs within the tunnel it has created. The eggs hatch, and therefore the mite larvae move to the surface of the skin and spread across the body or to a different host through close physical contact; the itchiness of scabies results from


Your body’s hypersensitive reaction to the mites, their eggs, and their waste.

Where does scabies come from?

Close physical contact and, less often, the sharing of vesture or bedding with an infected person will unfold the mites.

Can I get scabies rash from a dog?

Humans don’t seem to be the only species suffering from mites. Dogs and cats may also be infected. However, every species hosts a distinct species of mite, Animals, and humans all are suffering from their own distinct species of mites. Every species prefers one specific kind of host and does not live long far from that most well-liked host.

Humans might have a brief skin reaction from contact with the animal scabies mite. However, people are unlikely to develop a full-blown infection from a dog or a cat or any pet, as they could from contact with the human itch mite. As a conclusion, you can get mites from handling an infested pet, but these mites can’t reproduce in human skin. Because they usually die off without causing serious symptoms.


Where do you get scabies from?

Anyone can get the infection, however, those at higher risk include:

  • children attending daycare or school

  • parents of young kids

  • sexually active adults with multiple sexual partners

  • residents of care facilities

  • People living in crowded conditions

  • Older adults. Also, people who have a weak immune system due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, lymphoma, or leukemia have a bigger risk.

How long can scabies mites live?

-On an individual, scabies mites will live for as long as 1-2 months.


-Off someone, itch mites typically don’t survive over 48-72 hours. Itch mites can die if exposed to a temperature of 50°C (122°F) for ten minutes.

Scabies rash treatment:

the Scabies rash will not go away on its own; Scabies is cured with pills or medicated creams that kill mites and eggs. You need a doctor’s prescription for scabies treatment. However, some infestations can resolve without treatment.

This includes any person with whom the patient has had recent intimate contact.


Best cures are applied at night and washed off in the morning. The itching and rash may, in the beginning, become worse. However, ordinarily, you should feel relief in a week or two, and skin healing should be seen by 4 weeks after treatment.

Most effective medical treatment of scabies rash:

  • 5 percent permethrin cream, is the most common treatment for scabies; It is used to treat patients 2 months of age and older and during pregnancy.
  • Crotamiton cream,
  • Or lindane lotion.
  • 25 percent benzyl benzoate lotion
  • 10 percent of sulfur ointment may be used.
  • Ivermectin,
  • Other medications, for example, antihistamines, anti-itching lotions like Pramoxine lotion, antibiotics, and steroid creams may be prescribed.
  • Medical treatment of scabies rash step by step:

These scabicidal creams or lotions are applied over the whole body, from the neck down, where they’re left on the skin for at least eight to twelve hours, and then washed off. In some cases, a doctor might prescribe pills to treat the infection.

1-     Permethrin creams (Elimite, Acticin),

It’s applied at least for seven days. Permethrin may be used for kids aged eight weeks old and more.

2-     Lindane (Ovide),

An alternative treatment is 1 ounce of a tenth lotion or thirty grams of cream of lindane, it has fallen out of favor due to numerous reports of neurotoxic symptoms like skin numbness, restlessness, anxiety, tremor, and convulsions. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy or in nursing ladies, the elderly, and kids younger than two years of age, or people that weigh less than a hundred and ten pounds. It’s only suggested if other therapies haven’t been effective.


3-     Ivermectin (Stromectol),

It is an antiparasitic oral medication that has also been shown to be a good scabicide. It could also be suggested for people that are immunocompromised, those with crusted scabies, or people who didn’t respond to topical therapy. Ivermectin shouldn’t be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding nor by kids weighing less than thirty-three pounds.

4-     Crotamiton lotion

10% and cream 100 percent (Croatan) is the treatment of scabies in adults, not for kids. However, treatment failures are documented with the use of crotamiton.

5-     Sulfur in petrolatum

(Sulfo-Lac, Sulfo-Lo) applied as a cream or ointment is one of the earliest famous treatments for scabies rash. It’s not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this use, and sulfur should only be used when permethrin, lindane, or Ivermectin cannot be tolerated. However, sulfur is safe to be used during pregnancy and in infants.

6-     Antihistamines,

Such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which may be helpful in helping provide relief from itchiness. Sometimes, a short course of topical or oral steroids is prescribed to assist control of the itchiness.


7-     Washing and cleaning

Wash linens and cloth covering in hot water. Because mites do not live long far from the body, it’s not necessary to dry-clean the entire wardrobe, spray the pieces of furniture and rugs, and so forth.

8-     Treat contacted people

Finally, it’s primordial to treat sexual contacts or relevant members of the family who   have   symptoms

Important note:

It is important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions. Treating the skin more often than instructed can increase the rash and itching.

Scabies home remedies treatment:

Herbal treatments also called Home remedies for scabies, like tea tree oil and neem tree oils, olive oil and lemon, hydrogen peroxide, Borax, bleach, Lysol, alcohol (rubbing alcohol), apple vinegar, haven’t consistently been shown to treat the infection. People need to look for treatment, one way or another.


Are there home remedies for scabies?

No, Scabies home treatments are generally not recommended. Indeed, a number of scabies home remedies might make scabies symptoms worse. A doctor’s prescription is usually recommended to cure your itch. almost, all non-prescription medication and home remedies for infection can only treat the symptoms of infection, however, they won’t kill the mites and their eggs. Or get rid of your scabies rash infection.

Consequently, we tend to recommend patients 1st look for conventional treatment and to take measures to stop reinfestation and also the spread of mites to others. Since, scabies rash is a parasitic infestation, antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections aren’t effective. 

PS: if you still want to try home remedies click here to learn more.

Scabies Prevention and control:

How to prevent scabies mite from reinfestation

To prevent re-infestation and spreading to other people, take these steps:


Wash or dry-clean:

All clothes, towels, linens, etc. Use hot, bubbly water to wash all clothing, towels, and blanket used within three days before beginning scabies rash treatment. Dry with high heat, use a hot wash cycle (50°C or higher) when you start treatment.

Starve the mites:

Place unwashable pieces of stuff into a plastic bag and tie it up.  For 1 to few weeks to starve the mites and it will die after a few days deprived of food.

Vacuum the entire home:

On the day treatment is initiated, including carpets, rugs, upholstery, etc.


Avoiding close personal contact  exposed people:

The only sure method to stop scabies is to not have close, intimate contact with anyone. That includes Sexual partners and family members of people who develop scabies rash can be treated rapidly, the condition is identified so that they will not develop symptoms of scabies rash.

How to get rid of scabies at home?

As already understood, Scabies mites survive on the surface of clothes, bedding, or towels for 2 or three days. So, to get rid of scabies in your house, wash any pieces and wear used by the affected individual and dry them. Follow the tips listed above in this section: “ Scabies prevention” to get rid of scabies at home.

Can condoms protect me from scabies infection?

Scabies mites spread through close body contact, usually during sex. however, other intimate or close bodily contact can pass them on. You cannot prevent their spread by using condoms.  they are perfect at preventing other STDs (like HIV) but they are not considered to be operational against scabies transmission, and Scabies may seem kind of scary, particularly since it’s so easy to spread. On the other hand, try not to stress out too much about getting it. The good news is, scabies is easy to treat and does not frequently cause severe health problems.


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