Scabies is caused by mites that burrow beneath the skin and spread when individuals are in close contact. It is often found among members of the same household. Using shared towels, bedding and clothing can spread scabies, according to WebMD.
Symptoms of scabies are itching and rash. Itching increases at night, and the rash looks like small blisters, notes WebMD. Both appear on the inner finger area and underside of the wrist, the underarms, along the bra line in women, along the belt line and on the buttocks and genitals. Children display symptoms on the face, scalp and neck as well as on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. Itching is likely to be delayed for weeks after exposure in those who have never had scabies previously. Recurrent scabies causes itching quickly since it represents an allergic reaction to the mites.
Scabies is diagnosed by checking skin scrapings with a microscope for the presence of mites. It is treated by applying lotions or creams to the whole body and leaving them on for eight to 10 hours, according to WebMD. Other family members or those with whom the patient has close contact must also be treated. It is advisable to wash all bedding, towels and clothing used prior to treatment with hot water, and dry them on a high setting.