How is scabies diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose scabies by first recognizing the characteristic lesions, which are small red "dots" that have usually been scratched at. Occasionally, a thin line under the skin where the mite has burrowed will also be seen. Gentle scraping with a scalpel, then placing the material under a microscope, can show either the scabies mite itself or sometimes its waste products. Scabies invariably itches like mad; if it does not, the rash likely is not scabies.

Diagnosis of scabies, a parasitic infection, is quite simple. You should tell your doctor about any intense itching. He or she will look at the mite burrows (thin red lines and bumps) to arrive at the diagnosis. A microscopic examination of a burrow scraping will confirm the presence of mites, eggs, or mite feces.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.