Health A-Z


Clinical Definition

In Our Own Words

Scabies is a treatable skin condition caused by a small “itch mite” that tunnels under the skin and lays eggs. Highly contagious, this condition can be spread by close, skin-to-skin contact. Common sites of infestation include between the fingers, behind the knee and the groin area. Treatment involves symptom relief as well as getting rid of the mites and their eggs.

The scabies mite does not cause other diseases other than symptoms of scabies. Institutions such as nursing homes, extended-care facilities and prisons are often sites of scabies outbreaks. People who have a decreased immune system may sometime develop a more severe form of scabies known as Norwegian scabies.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Rash and itching
  • Crusty skin in severe cases
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