Scabies is a common problem in society. It is caused by an itch mite acquired through contact with someone who has the disease. It is common among school children, nursing homes, hospital personnel, hospitalized patients and those with multiple sexual partners.
Once acquired, symptoms of a rash and severe itching develop within thirty days. The itching becomes progressively worse particularly at night and the rash spreads to involve the hands, between the fingers, wrists, elbows, axillae, genitals, knees, ankles and toes.
The key to diagnosis is the characteristic history and the fact that others in the family, or other associates, are also itching. Diagnosis is confirmed by identifying the burrows of the active mites in the skin. It takes an experienced clinician to find these lesions.
Therapy is very effective. All people exposed must be treated at the same time or recurrences are common