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Bedbugs, Scabies and Head Lice - Oh My!
Date:3/4/2010

Scabies is another common infestation caused by a tiny, round eight-legged mite that burrows in the skin and can cause intense itching. Little red bumps similar to hives, tiny bites or pimples usually appear with scabies and, in some cases, the skin can become crusty or scaly, especially between fingers and toes. Some people also can develop nodular lesions from a hypersensitivity reaction, which can be seen in the armpit or genital areas.

Dermatologists estimate that more than 300 million cases of scabies occur around the world every year, and it is easily transmitted from person to person by close contact. Although everyone is susceptible to scabies, crowded living conditions and poor hygiene are two of the most common associations.

"Dermatologists can diagnose scabies by doing a thorough examination of the patient, and sometimes the diagnosis can be confirmed by scraping the lesions to identify the scabies mites or its eggs," said Dr. Yan. "Recently, use of epiluminescence microscopy (dermatoscopy) also has demonstrated good sensitivity for identifying mites by looking for a specific pattern that indicates the pigmented areas of mites, as well as looking for corroborating air bubbles associated with the mite's presence."

The gold standard treatment for scabies remains topical 5% permethrin cream for most patients who are th
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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