Scabies: When to seek medical assistance?


Scabies is a common contagious infestation caused because of fleas (little bugs). The infestation can spread rampantly from one person to another, especially if they share close living spaces.

Consult a physician if you have symptoms of scabies for example:

  • Insidious and relentless itch that becomes worse at night time or disturbs sleep or leads to lack of sleep at nighttime.
  • Skin rash, which appear as tiny red bumps that look like snacks or pimples on any portion of the body such as webs between the fingers, the wrists and the backs of their elbows, the knees, around the waist and umbilicus, the axiliary folds, the areas around the nipples, the springs and sides of the toes, the genital region and the buttocks.

Consult a doctor for scabies if:

  • You come in touch with a individual, who has been diagnosed with scabies. Symptoms of scabies usually start about four to six weeks after becoming infected with the mite. If you are exposed to any one with scabies, get rechecked around six weeks once you think that may have been subjected or if you develop symptoms.
  • After treatment of scabies, itching may persist for over 2 weeks. If you have persistent itching for more than a couple weeks, ask your doctor as there’s obviously a probability of relapse.

If you have itching and skin rash, then it does not mean that you have scabies. A lot of other skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema can cause itching and small lumps on the skin. A physician after examination can diagnose the specific cause and treat it appropriately.

Who to consult

Health professionals, who could be consulted for scabies include:

  • General practitioner.
  • Family doctor.
  • Paediatrician.
  • Dermatologist (physician who specialises in diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases).
  • Nurse practitioner.
  • Physician’s assistant.


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