What is scabies?
Scabies is an infection caused by the parasitic mite Sarcoptes scabiei that burrows into the skin causing irritation and itching. Scabies infection is caused by direct skin contact and burrow lines can be seen at the site of infection, usually between the fingers, on the skin of the hands, feet, wrist, elbows, buttocks and genitals. After a few weeks the immune system develops an allergic reaction to the scabies mite and to its droppings and this can result in severe itching and discomfort, with a rash over the whole body.
Treatment for scabies infectionTreatment with the insecticide permethrin is effective in killing the scabies mite by acting as a neurotoxin and interfering with the nervous system of the parasite. This causes paralysis and death of the mite. The symptoms of scabies infection often continue after the scabies mite has been killed due to the allergic reaction, although this will eventually ease and symptoms disappear.