Scabies is a skin infestation caused by mites known as Sarcoptes Scabiei. The main symptoms of scabies are due to the body’s allergic reaction to the mites and their waste.
Symptoms include an itchy, widespread rash (often worse at night-time) which occurs mainly between the fingers, around the waist, armpits, wrists, navel and elbows, and it usually affects both sides of the body alike. The rash is an allergic reaction and does not correspond to where the mites are located on the body.
There are two forms of scabies both caused by the same mite. The most common form of scabies has fewer than 20 mites all over the body, whereas the rarer type of crusted scabies can have thousands of mites causing a more severe reaction in the skin.
Itching occurs on average 3-6 weeks following infestation. If a person has had scabies in the past this will be reduced to a few days.
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