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Differences between scabies rash & eczema rash

Updated April 17, 2017

The scabies infection causes an itchy rash on the skin that is often misdiagnosed as eczema. The appearance of the two rashes is similar, but the cause, development and treatment are different.

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The scabies rash usually affects the folds of the skin in the area around the waist, breast, male genital area, buttocks, knees and shoulder blades. It appears as small burrow tracks of tiny blisters and bumps. The eczema rash appears as red itchy patches on the skin. They can occur anywhere, but usually affect the elbows, knees, ankles, face, neck and the upper chest.


Scabies spreads easily through physical contact. There is no risk of transferring the eczema rash because the condition is not contagious.


The scabies mite deposits waste products on the skin, causing an allergic reaction that produces an eczema-like rash. The eczema rash may flare up at anytime. The triggers can be chemicals, pollen, changes in hormone levels, or stress.


A doctor identifies a scabies rash by examining a scraping of the infected skin under a microscope. Eczema is identified by an examination of the skin and review of a patient's medical history.


Eczema can't be cured. The purpose of treatment is to reduce inflammation and reduce itching. Massaging a prescription cream into a rash caused by scabies kills the mite and cures the itching.

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About the Author

Nicole Whitney started freelance writing in 2008, with articles published on various websites. She has worked as a spa therapist and consultant. She participates in a volunteer program and writes on subjects related to the beauty industry. She graduated from the International School of Skin, Nails and Massage in Atlanta.

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