Scabies

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  • Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis).  This microscopic mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays eggs.  Scabies is typically spread by prolonged, direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infested individual.  The most common signs and symptoms are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash.  The more severe form of scabies referred to as crusted, or Norwegian, scabies could occur in elderly, disabled, debilitated, or individuals with decreased immune systems.  Patients with crusted scabies develop thick crusts of skin that contain a large number of mites and eggs.  Scabies and crusted scabies can be prevented by avoiding direct, skin-to-skin and indirect contact with infested individuals.