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How do you visually identify a scabies infection?

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Quick Answer

A scabies infection appears as blisters or bumps on the skin that create thin, irregular burrow tracks, according to Mayo Clinic. The tracks typically appear in skin folds. The other prominent symptom of scabies is severe itching, especially at night.

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Full Answer

Another way to identify scabies is to notice the location. In adults and older children, scabies usually appears in distinctive areas, such as in between fingers, inside the wrist or elbow, and in armpits. It also appears on knees, soles of feet, shoulder blades, buttocks and around the waist, breasts and male genitalia.

In infants and young children, parents can look for the bumps on the face, scalp and neck, Mayo Clinic reports. Scabies can also be found on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Scabies must be treated with prescription medication, Mayo Clinic warns. Over-the-counter medications and bathing don't rid the patient of infection. The infestation can spread from person to person even if there are no symptoms.

The medications require the patient to apply them to the body from the neck down and to leave it on for at least eight hours, Mayo Clinic describes. The medication generally kills all the mites in one application, but a second application may be needed. Even when the mites die, the itching may continue for several weeks.

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