Where Do Scabies Originally Come From?

Wood/Custom Medical Stock Photos/Getty Images

According to Stanford University, the earliest evidence of scabies originally comes from Egypt and the Middle East over 2,500 years ago. Because it is caused by multicellular mites rather than single-celled pathogens, it was one of the first diseases with a relatively accurate explanation of its cause.

Stanford University states that scabies is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. It burrows into the skin of its host and lays eggs. These eggs hatch and continue the infestation. The burrows are shallow, but they are accompanied by intense itching and generalized rashes. The itching largely occurs because of an allergic reaction to the mites. The burrows themselves appear as short, curving tracks in the skin, which are accompanied by pimple-like nodules. These burrows are most common in the crevices of the body, such as the armpits, between the fingers, between the buttocks or in the genital region. They also open the skin to secondary infections. This disease is common in infants and small children, where it creates blisters and pustules on the hands and feet as typical symptoms. It is most often transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. This disease is only treatable by full head-to-toe application of special prescription creams or antiparasitic pills.