logo

Young People's Guide to
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
and AIDS/HIV Disease

line

Table of Contents

line

SCABIES

Summary

  • Similar to pubic lice but the bugs are too small to be seen and they live under the skin.
  • They cause very itchy small sores all over the body.
  • Treated with a lotion medicine that is applied all over the whole body.
  • Clothes, bed sheets and towels must be washed after treatment since the bugs can live in them.

What is scabies?

Scabies is a disease that is caused by very small bugs(called mites) that dig into the skin in little burrows. In these burrows they lay their eggs. They are usually very itchy(worse at night) and they can occur in many different parts of the body but especially on the hands, waist. arms and the trunk. They usually just look like small bumps or sores on the body but sometimes they can cause an allergic reaction and the sores can look very inflamed.

Scabies is not so common these days because of good hygiene.

How are scabies diagnosed?

Usually a knowledgeable doctor or other health will be able to tell is you have scabies by examining the entire skin. He or she may also take a little sample of the skin sore with a little knife blade to look at under the microscope.

How is scabies treated?

It is easily treated with a lotion that is applied over the entire skin.

Can there be serious complications of scabies?

Not usually. It is more of a nuisance type of disease and only on occasion will the burrows become infected with other germs and cause a bigger problem.

Back to Table of Contents
line