Overview of Scabies

Scabies Meaning in Urdu

اس بیماری کی وجہ سے جِلد کی شدید خارش کا سامنا کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے۔ یہ ایک متعدی بیماری ہے جو کہ آسانی کے ساتھ ایک شخص سے دوسرے شخص میں منتقل ہو سکتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے خارش کے ساتھ ساتھ جِلد پر چھوٹے چھوٹے چھالے بھی نمودار ہو سکتے ہیں۔ جِلد کی اس بیماری سے چھٹکارا پانا نہایت آسان ہے۔ اس سے نجات حاصل کرنے کے لیے عام طور پر کریمز اور ادویات تجویز کی جاتی ہیں جو کہ ان مائٹس کا خاتمہ کرتی ہیں جو کہ  جِلد کی اس بیماری کا باعث بنتے ہیں۔


Scabies is a highly contagious skin infestation caused by the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabiei. It spreads through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or by sharing bedding, clothing, and other personal items with an infected person.

Scabies mites burrow into the top layer of the skin where they lay their eggs, causing intense itching and a rash. The most common symptom of scabies is a persistent itch that worsens at night and can be felt all over the body, particularly where the mites have burrowed. The rash appears as small, red bumps or blisters accompanied by thin, irregular burrow tracks. 

Prevalence of Scabies:


According to WHO, the prevalence of Scabies stands at 0.2% to 71%. Globally, Scabies affects more than 200 million people at any time. 


Signs and Symptoms of Scabies

The symptoms of scabies may include:

  • Intense itching, especially at night
  • A pimple-like rash or red bumps that may appear in a line or cluster
  • Scales or blisters filled with fluid
  • Sores caused by scratching
  • Thin, pencil-like marks on the skin (caused by the mites burrowing)
  • The rash may appear on the wrists, elbows, underarms, breasts, waist, buttocks, genital area, and between fingers and toes.

It is important to note that these symptoms may take several weeks to appear after a person gets infested with scabies for the first time. Additionally, scabies can be spread easily from person to person through close physical contact.

Types of Scabies

There are several types of scabies, including:

  1. Typical Scabies: This is the most common type of scabies caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. It results in an itchy rash on the hands, wrists, and other common areas. However, it does not infest the hair or scalp. 
  2. Norwegian scabies: Also known as crusted scabies, this type is a more severe form of the condition. It is prevalent in people with weakened immune systems, such as HIV or leukemia.
  3. Scabies incognito: It occurs when a person uses topical steroids to treat their symptoms. The steroids suppress the immune system, making it difficult to diagnose the scabies infestation.
  4. Nodular scabies: This is a rare form of scabies that causes itchy nodules or lumps under the skin

Regardless of the type, scabies is highly contagious and requires prompt treatment to prevent them from spreading to others.

Causes of Scabies

The mite burrows into the skin and lays eggs, which can cause intense itching and a rash. The most common causes of scabies include:

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact: Scabies mites are highly contagious and can spread from person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact. It often occurs during sexual contact or prolonged physical contact.
  • Sharing personal items: Scabies mites can transmit through sharing personal items such as bedding, towels, and clothing. It is common in crowded living conditions, such as nursing homes or prisons.
  • Crowded living conditions: Living in jampacked conditions, such as dormitories or military barracks, increases the risk of scabies transmission because it is easier for the mites to spread from person to person.
  • Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or cancer, are at increased risk of developing scabies because their bodies are less able to fight off infections.

Risk Factors of Scabies

The following are some risk factors associated with scabies:

  • Close physical contact: Scabies spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Therefore, living in close quarters with someone having scabies increases the risk of infection.
  • Crowded living conditions: Living in jampacked conditions, such as nursing homes, prisons, or other institutions, increases the risk of scabies.
  • Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or those receiving chemotherapy, are at higher risk of scabies.
  • Age: Scabies is more common in children and older adults.
  • Personal hygiene: While poor personal hygiene does not cause scabies, it can make it easier for mites to spread.
  • Sharing personal items: Sharing personal items, such as clothing, towels, or bedding, with an infected person can increase the risk of scabies.
  • Sexual activity: Scabies can spread through sexual contact, especially in sexually active young adults.

It is important to note that scabies can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or social status. However, certain factors may increase the risk of contracting the infection. If you suspect you may have scabies, seek medical attention promptly to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Scabies Complications:

The main complication of scabies is a secondary bacterial infection due to scratching the affected area. Other potential complications of scabies may include:

  • Impetigo: This is a bacterial skin infection that occurs when bacteria enter through breaks in the skin caused by scratching.
  • Cellulitis: It is a bacterial skin infection that occurs when bacteria enter the skin through a cut or scratch.
  • Eczema: Scabies can trigger or worsen eczema, a chronic skin condition characterized by itchy, inflamed skin.
  • Crusted Scabies: This is a severe form of scabies in people with weakened immune systems. It is characterized by thick, crusted patches of skin that can be highly contagious.
  • Emotional Distress: Scabies can be highly uncomfortable and distressing, leading to social isolation, anxiety, and depression.

It is essential to seek medical treatment if you suspect you have scabies to prevent these complications from occurring.



The following are some steps you can take to prevent scabies:

  • Avoid close contact with people having scabies - this includes avoiding direct skin-to-skin contact, sharing clothes, and bedding.
  • Wash clothes and bedding frequently - wash them in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer.
  • Keep your living space clean - vacuum your carpets and furniture frequently and wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant.
  • Avoid sharing personal items - this includes clothing, towels, and bedding.
  • If you come in contact with someone who has scabies, applying a topical insecticide lotion or cream as a preventative measure may be helpful.
  • If you think you have been exposed to scabies or are experiencing symptoms such as itching or a rash, see a doctor or dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.


A healthcare professional, such as a Dermatologist, diagnoses Scabies through physical examination and symptoms discussion. 

During the examination, the healthcare professional may look for signs of the scabies rash, which can include small bumps, blisters, and burrow marks on the skin. They may also look for evidence of the mites or their eggs by scraping a small area of your skin and examining it under a microscope.

If there is uncertainty about the diagnosis, a skin biopsy may be recommended. In a skin biopsy, a small piece of skin is removed and examined under a microscope to look for evidence of scabies.

It is important to see a healthcare professional if you suspect you have scabies, as other conditions can sometimes be mistaken for scabies, such as allergic reactions or other skin infections. A correct diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment.

Treatment of Scabies | When to Consult a Doctor

Scabies is treated with medications that kill the mites and their eggs. Treatment typically involves the following steps:

  • Prescription medication: A doctor will prescribe a medication to kill the mites, such as permethrin cream or lotion, ivermectin, or benzyl benzoate. These medications are applied to the entire body, from the neck down, and left on for several hours before being washed off.
  • Antihistamines: These medications can help relieve itching and discomfort caused by scabies.
  • Steroid creams: If the rash is particularly severe, a doctor may prescribe a steroid cream to reduce inflammation.
  • Avoidance of close contact: Scabies is highly contagious, so it is important to avoid close contact with others until the infestation has been treated.
  • Cleaning: Clothing, bedding, and other items that have been in contact with the infested person should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat.

It is important to follow the treatment plan as directed by a Dermatologist to ensure that the infestation is completely eradicated. It may take several weeks for