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Scabies: Causes

Causes Of Scabies

A tiny mite that is barely visible to human eyes is the cause of scabies. It is the female mite that causes scabies. It gets transferred by touch. Sometimes, even holding hands can transfer the scabies mite. On the skin, the scabies mite burrows inside the epidermis (the upper layer of the skin) and lays eggs there. The eggs hatch and produce more of the mites. The mites produce toxins on the skin that cause allergic reactions and heavy itching.

After you get scabies, the itching may appear after about a month. Along with itching, small pimple-like or raised spots like hives can develop on the affected skin. The rash of scabies develops mainly because of scratching which is very difficult to resist. These rashes can cause secondary bacterial infections.

The mite generally invades the warm areas of the body such as elbows, wrists, buttocks, between the fingers, under the nails, etc. In children, it can also develop on scalp and soles, involving the whole body.

In another form of scabies, called as crusted scabies, thick crusts form on the skin giving space to thousands of mites to thrive. This condition is normally seen in elderly people, or those whose immune system has been compromised, such as AIDS patients, etc.

In this case, the doctor may scrape a small piece of crust and observe it under microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Article created on: July 7, 2006

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