What does scabies look like? In most cases, scabies begins as a rash that looks like a collection of tiny pimples. These may be accompanied by small lines on the skin.
Scabies is cause by a mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite has eight legs and measures a mere .33mm long. They cannot be seen with a naked eye. Scabies mites burrow into the skin and lay eggs, which hatch in 21 days, starting the cycle all over again.
The scabies mite only lives for 24 to 36 hours on a human, but the eggs require 21 days to become mature. An allergic reaction to the mites and their eggs is what causes the pimply rash and itching. Thin lines are caused by the mites burrowing under the skin to lay their eggs.
The most common places to find scabies are between a person's fingers and on the wrists, elbows and knees. Scabies also appear around the waist and abdomen. They may also appear on axillary folds, the sides and backs of the feet, the genital area, the areas around nipples and the buttocks. Children can develop a scabies rash on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet.
The bumps in the rash might have blood crusts in them. Not every bump contains the mites. There could be hundreds of bumps or pimples caused by the mites, but there may only be 10 or 15 live mites in the bumps.
In some cases, symptoms might not appear for two months, but the infected person is still contagious. Itching is usually the first symptom, even before a rash appears. Itching is often worse at night, becoming more intense as time goes by. The itch may get so bad that it keeps you awake at night.
Transmission of Scabies
Scabies mites are highly contagious. They are transferred from skin to skin, or by contact with infested clothing. Extended contact with the skin or clothing is required; scabies mites don't jump or fly, and they are somewhat slow-moving.
Scabies symptoms may not appear until six weeks after infection, even though the person with scabies is highly contagious. Learn about the early symptoms and how to treat this condition.
Scabies is a rash that is an allergic reaction to the proteins of the human itch mite. Medication used for treatment is by prescription only.