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Photograph of a hand with scabies rash
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    • Services and providers for Scabies in the U.S.
  • National Institutes of Health

Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabei. It is common all over the world, and it affects people of all races and social classes. Scabies spreads quickly in crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people. Hospitals, child-care centers and nursing homes are examples. Scabies can easily infect sex partners and other household members. Sharing clothes, towels, and bedding can also spread scabies. You cannot get scabies from a pet. Pets get a different mite infection called mange.

Symptoms are

  • Pimple-like irritations or a rash
  • Intense itching, especially at night
  • Sores caused by scratching

Several lotions are available to treat scabies. The infected person's clothes, bedding and towels should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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  • Scabies(American Academy of Dermatology)
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  • Scabies(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
    Also available in Spanish
  • ScabiesInteractive Tutorial(Patient Education Institute) - Requires Flash Player
    Also available in Spanish
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