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Scabies is a contagious, itchy skin condition caused by a tiny mite. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 200 million people at any time and more than 400 million people worldwide get scabies each year.

The mite—called the human itch mite—is an eight-legged bug that’s so small that you can’t see it on the skin. When the mite burrows into the top layer of skin to live and feed, an extremely itchy rash develops. The mite can travel from the infected person to another person. Most people get scabies from direct, skin-to-skin contact. People can also pick up mites from infested items such as bedding, clothes and furniture. Anyone can get scabies, even if you’re very clean and neat. 

The symptoms of scabies include:

  • Itching, mainly at night: The itch can be so intense that it keeps a person awake at night
  • Rash: This rash causes little bumps that often form a line. The bumps can look like hives, tiny bites, knots under the skin, or pimples. Some people develop scaly patches that look like eczema
  • Sores: Scratching the itchy rash can cause sores. An infection can develop in the sores
  • Thick crusts on the skin: Crusts form when a person develops a severe type of scabies called crusted scabies. With so many mites burrowing in the skin, the rash and itch become severe

The Treatment

The Art of Skin Dermatology provides medical skincare treatment for scabies. It’s important to note, however, that the person diagnosed with scabies and everyone who has had close contact with that person need treatment—even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms.

Treatment includes topical medications and oral medications if needed. 

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Time was taken to answer every question. I never felt hurried and the wait to be seen was minimal. All my concerns were addressed and the overall experience was one of caring about me as a patient. Would absolutely recommend to everyone.

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Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that causes itchy, red, irritated skin. Its first sign is often itchy skin, followed by a rash and possibly blisters. You can get allergic contact dermatitis when things you touch, or that touch you, annoy or irritate your skin. Did you know that more than 15,000 things that touch our skin can cause an allergic reaction—including fragrances and nickel?

In some cases, people get contact dermatitis when the sun hits their skin. The American Academy of Dermatology gives this example: a bartender may squeeze lemons and limes while indoors and never develop a rash. However, when they squeeze lemons and limes outdoors on a sunny day, a painful rash and large blisters develop where the sunlight hits the skin coated with juices.

Contact dermatitis is not contagious.


Hives are bumps that can pop up on your skin when you’ve been exposed to something you’re allergic to or that bothers your body. Your own sweat, cold, sunlight or the light pressure of a purse strap can cause hives; this is called inducible hives. It only develops when something that causes hives for you touches the skin.

Most hives are very itchy; they can be as small as a pinhead or several inches across. They may appear alone or in a group, and some join together to form large patches called plaques. They’re usually harmless and temporary. A single hive can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours; most clear within 24 hours. If new hives continue to appear for six weeks or longer, you likely have a condition called chronic inducible hives.

Some people develop swelling deep in their skin or the moist tissue that lines the mouth/lip, eyelids or other areas. This is called angioedema and is usually harmless. Yet it can be life-threatening if it causes swelling in your mouth or throat, problems breathing or racing heart.

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