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 A skin disease caused by microscopic mites. Scabies is
 contagious from person to person (by shared clothing or bed
 linen) and from one site to another in the same person. They
                                                                         GENERAL MEASURES
                                                                               Diagnosis is confirmed by discovering the mite, lifting it from
                                                                               its burrow and identifying it under a microscope. Treatment
                                                                               is with topical medication. Carefully wash all clothes, bedding
 usually infect the skin of the finger and toe webs, and folds                  and toys used prior to or during treatment. Use hot soapy
 under the arms, breasts, elbows, genitals and buttocks. It is not             water and high heat to dry. Place items that cannot be
 a reflection of personal cleanliness.                                          washed in a sealed plastic bag and keep sealed for several
                                                                               weeks.Vacuum furniture and the entire house. Discard
FREQUENT SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS                                                    vacuum bag. Pets do not need to be treated.
 The typical symptom is intense itching, especially at night.
 Itching usually occurs between skinfolds and fingers. There              MEDICATION
 may be skin eruptions, tunnel-like lines and bumps where                      An insecticide lotion such as permethrin or crotamiton will
 mites have burrowed.                                                          usually be prescribed. (Infants and pregnant women may need
                                                                               a pediculicide that is less toxic). Bathe thoroughly before
CAUSES                                                                         applying the prescribed medicine. Apply from the neck down,
 The mite burrows into the skin where the female deposits                      and cover the entire body including under fingernails. Do
 eggs. Eggs mature into adult mites in 3 weeks. After several                  not wash hands after application. Leave medicine on the skin
 weeks, the immune system develops an allergic reaction to                     for recommended time before bathing.Your family or other
 the mites which results in severe itching. Scratching collects                close contacts should be treated at the same time.You may
 mites and eggs under the fingernails, so they spread to other                  need to repeat in 1 week, but not more than once. Taking
 parts of the body.                                                            antihistimines may reduce itching.

RISK INCREASES WITH                                                       ACTIVITY & DIET
• Direct contact with an infested person                                       Avoid close physical contact until treatment is completed and
• Crowded or unsanitary living conditions                                      symptoms are resolved. No special diet.

                                                                         NOTIFY OUR OFFICE IF:
PREVENTIVE MEASURES                                                        • After treatment, the lesions show signs of infection (redness,
• Avoid contact with persons or linen and clothing that you                  pus, swelling or pain)
  suspect may be infected with scabies.
                                                                           • New, unexplained symptoms develop
                                                                           • Lesions and itching persist for longer than four weeks
 Rash often persists up to one or two weeks after treatment.
 In 20% of cases, re-treatment is necessary within 20 days.
 Lesions usually heal within four weeks.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS                                                         References:
• Secondary bacterial infection of mite-infested areas due to                    

Student Health Center
WWW.SHC.SIUC.EDU                                                                                           618-453-3311
This information is for educational purposes only. Consult your                                                  For after hours emergencies call 911
doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment.                                                             or go to the emergency room.