Last Updated: 2013-11-07
Caused by infestation with Sarcoptes scabiei, a 0.3- to 0.5-mm mite that can burrow and deposit eggs in the human stratum corneum.
Transmission usually occurs via direct skin-to-skin contact, seen most commonly in overcrowded living conditions.
Clinical features include pruritus, erythematous papules, and linear burrows in the interdigital web space and red nodules on the penis, with patients often reporting history of exposure to an infested individual.
Microscopic visualization of mites, their eggs, or feces in skin scrapings is helpful but not essential to initiation of treatment.
Most popular treatment options include topical permethrin and oral ivermectin.
Primarily considered a nuisance in the developed world. Children in the developing world can contract secondary streptococcal infection in their skin lesions, with potential complications of rheumatic heart disease or poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis.
Scabies mite under 10× power
From the personal collection of Laura Ferris, MD, PhD
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