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What Does Scabies Look Like?


What Does Scabies Look Like? – Initial Symptoms

Scabies is an easy condition to self-diagnose as the symptoms are well known and fairly obvious if you know what to look for.   Early self-diagnosis should be followed immediately by the commencement of a scabies treatment program.

The initial indication of a scabies infection is the onset of itchiness which, at first, can be mistaken for dry skin.  Usually, the itch is relatively mild at the start but progressively worsens. Most often, the itchiness is worse at night and a little less acute during the day.  It also tends to be worse after bathing, showering or swimming.  The itching can be so intense that it interferes with sleeping.

Shortly after the onset of  itching, a skin irritation or sore will emerge that may resemble a blister, rash, small insect bite or a pimple. 

See pictures of scabies here.

What Does Scabies Look Like? – Typical Locations

Scabies can appear anywhere on the body although the location often depends on the age of the person. For instance, with children, the affected areas normally include the palms of the hands, neck, scalp, face and soles of the feet.  In adults, the affected areas more typically include the webbing between fingers and toes, the inside of the wrists, inside of the elbows, around the waist and belly-button, the shoulder blades, around the knees, the buttocks area and the genital area in males – in general, areas of folded skin or body crevasses.  These areas of the body are warmer than the more exposed parts of the body and are ideal environments for scabies mites.

what does scabies look like?

What Does Scabies Look Like?

It should be comforting to know that not every bump on your skin is an actual scabies mite. In the majority of scabies cases, there are only 10 – 15 live mites even though there may be hundreds of bumps.

Textbook descriptions of scabies often describe “burrows” or “tunnels” on the skin which are caused by the scabies mite tunneling under the surface of the skin. These are tiny threadlike projections, ranging from 2 mm-15 mm long, that appear as thin gray, brown, or red lines in affected areas and, because they are so thin, they can be very hard to see with the naked eye.  In addition, scratching usually destroys the burrows so that they are no longer distinctly visible.

Scratching the affected can also result in the skin breaking open which leads to the appearance of crusting as the open sores begin to scab over.

What Does Scabies Look Like? – Treatment Options for Scabies.

Treatment of scabies can include a wide range of prescription drugs as well as natural remedies.  Unfortunately, conventional scabies drugs and creams  like premethrin have proven to cause significant adverse side effects since they are manufactured from powerful pesticides or dangerous steroids.  For that reason, a course of natural treatment is highly recommended.

Hopefully the foregoing description of symptoms has helped you answer the question:  What does Scabies Look Like?