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Scabies is a highly contagious infestation of tiny microscopic insects (Sarcoptes scabiei) on your skin that causes severe itching. Small red bumps will appear on your body wherever the mites burrow into your skin and lay eggs. Scabies can affect anyone and is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact between people. You cannot get scabies from a pet.

It could take up to six weeks for symptoms to manifest. Signs and symptoms of scabies include:

  • Small red bumps or pimple-like rashes
  • Intense itching, especially at night
  • Sores caused by scratching
  • Thin, irregular burrow tracks made up of tiny bumps on your skin
  • Crusty skin (in advanced conditions)

Over-the-counter treatments cannot cure scabies. If you suspect you have scabies, it is important to come in for a medical examination to prevent spreading scabies to your loved ones and others who come in contact with you.


Ointment or Cream
Your dermatologist may prescribe a topical ointment or cream that you will apply directly to your skin.

Oral Medication
For severe cases, you may need to take oral (by mouth) medication, such as ivermectin, to cure the infestation.

Antihistamine Medication
Your dermatologist may recommend that you take antihistamine medication to help control the itching during your treatment period.


Physical Exam
Through a medical examination of your skin, we can accurately diagnose and determine the best way to treat your scabies. Several conditions, such as eczema, have similar symptoms to scabies — therefore it’s important that you be seen by one of our medical professionals to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

To confirm the presence of mites and their eggs, we may remove a small section of the affected skin (biopsy) and send it to a laboratory for analysis.

Why Choose UHealth?

World-class leaders in skin care treatment. University of Miami Health System is recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in caring for conditions and disorders of the skin. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide superior, personalized treatments for dermatologic conditions.

Compassionate care in an academic medical center. You benefit from the state-of-the-art technology and latest medical advancements developed by our researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. You will receive the most accurate diagnosis and a detailed plan to keep your skin healthy.

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