Scabies is contagious disease of the skin caused by small mites, known as Sarcoptes scabiei, that burrow under the skin. A person may not know he has scabies until a few weeks after being infected—when the area of a mite’s burrows causes the individual to feel extremely itchy. Scabies is contagious and spreads with physical contact. This condition, however, is treatable with the use of topical medications or pills prescribed by a doctor.
Itching is Less Severe
Itching is the first noticeable symptom among those infected with scabies, according to WebMD. The itching is caused by an allergic reaction to the mite, its eggs and fecal matter (scybala). A good sign that scabies is going away is when an infected person feels less itchy, especially at night or after bathing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that it could take up to four weeks after completing a treatment for scabies for the itching to stop.
There are Less Noticeable Burrows and Tracks in the Skin
When a person has a scabies infection, the skin between the fingers and on the wrist, knees or elbows, for example, will have the appearance of pencil marks on it, according to Medline Plus. These marks are from the mites burrowing into a person’s skin to deposit eggs. When the mites travel under a person’s skin, small, veinlike tracks will form. The burrows mites make in a baby may appear like small blisters or pimples. A sign scabies is going away is the disappearance of the burrows and tracks.
Healing of the Skin
The rash an individual with scabies gets is the result of an allergic reaction. The rashes can cause a person to scratch an affected area, which will lead to further irritation, inflammation and the appearance of crust on the skin. In extreme cases, scratching of the skin can cause a bacterial skin infection, according to the CDC. Once treatment for scabies begins, the itchy feeling on an infected person’s skin will lessen, any rashes formed will start to clear and inflammation will being to reduce, which will help heal the skin. However, the CDC states that if a person continues to have new rashes after four weeks of having completed a treatment for scabies, it is possible that the topical medicine or pills prescribed did not kill all the mites.
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images