Is It Scabies

Is It Scabies

Is It Scabies

Scabies can often resemble other skin conditions. Determining whether your condition is scabies can be difficult, since the tunnels that confirm the diagnosis are often obscured by scratch marks and scabs. The blisters and pimples that result from scabies may be mistaken for a host of other skin conditions. Knowing the difference between the signs and symptoms of these other conditions and scabies can help you in determining whether or not your condition is scabies. (The difference between flea bites and scabies)

Although it is often possible to determine yourself whether you have scabies, it is also possible to misdiagnose yourself. Only a qualified professional can diagnose medical conditions. In addition, your doctor can determine whether you have any secondary infections or other complications and can advise you on treatment.

To treat scabies effectively , you should use sulfur soap for scabies .


The itching that is caused by scabies is actually an allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs, digestive proteins and wastes left in the skin. Therefore, the rash that develops from scabies is often mistaken for a skin allergy to something in the environment. People often mistake scabies for an allergy to laundry detergent, since the rash is usually confined to areas that are covered by clothing. Since the itching often gets worse at night when the person is in bed, it is easy to think that the detergents on bedding are also irritating the skin.

Allergic reactions do not often spread when scratched, while scabies does. Mites and eggs are shed when you scratch. They get under the fingernails and are pushed around on the skin, depositing living mites elsewhere and driving eggs further into scratches. Scabies also tends to form a rash on the hands, particularly between the fingers, on the palms and on the insides of the wrists. Pay special attention to these areas when determining whether you have scabies or an allergy.


Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes rough, dry and scaly patches to form on the skin. These patches are often itchy and red. It is not possible to cure eczema, although it is possible to prevent flare-ups. Eczema patches tend to appear on areas of the body that are susceptible to dryness, such as the elbows, knees, face and neck. Eczema cannot be passed to other people, because it is not contagious.

While the scratching in response to scabies can induce an eczema flare-up or form patches that are similar to eczema, scabies lesions generally appear different from eczema. Scabies lesions usually resemble blisters, boils or pimples. The lesions contain pus, which seeps out when the lesion is scratched or popped. The zig-zag or S-shaped burrows are also often visible. Scabies rarely appears on the areas where eczema tends to appear, but rather appears on skin that is covered by clothing or where folds in the skin occur, such as the insides of elbows and knees or on the thighs. Scabies is very contagious and spreads readily to other people.

Cortisone creams generally alleviate the symptoms of eczema, but you should not use it if you suspect you have scabies. Cortisone cream is a mild steroid, which can slow down the body’s immune response.

Compromising the immune system can allow a scabies infection to worsen; some people may even develop crusted scabies (also known as Norwegian scabies), a rare, severe form of scabies that can require hospitalization. A safer way to determine whether your condition is scabies or eczema is to perform an ink or burrow test. Instructions for performing this test are detailed in Post Scabies Symptoms.

Body Lice

Body lice are insects that are visible to the naked eye. Adult lice are a little smaller than a common ant. Their eggs are visible as small white or tan spots. Head lice are indistinguishable from body lice. The key difference is their method of reproducing: body lice lay their eggs in the seams of clothing, whereas head lice lay eggs in hair follicles.

Lice do not live in human skin the way the mites that cause scabies do. Body lice live in the clothing or hair of their host, getting on the skin to feed off of blood. Unlike scabies, body lice infestations are commonly caused by poor hygiene. People who are homeless frequently get body lice because they do not have access to shower or laundry facilities.

A body lice infestation is fairly easy to treat. It is usually only necessary to shower to get rid of any lice that may be on the skin and wash all clothing and bedding to kill any lice and eggs living on the fabric. Treating head lice often requires special medicated shampoos. Nits (the eggs) may be difficult to get rid of with a head lice infestation, since they are embedded in the scalp.

The mites that cause scabies are often invisible, or only visible as a tiny pinpoint of black or brown. If the bugs are visible, then your condition is most likely not scabies. Unlike lice, scabies tunnel into the skin, where they lay their eggs. The only way to kill the mites and eggs is by using ointments and creams that are left on the skin and absorbed into the burrows made by the mites. Several treatments may be needed, and it is often necessary to decontaminate all fabric surfaces in the home, since scabies mites can stay on these surfaces for days.


Bedbugs are insects that live in homes, often on mattresses, behind headboards and in baseboards. The bugs often bite people at night in their beds. Adult bedbugs are roughly the size of an apple seed and thus very easy to see, but they often hide in dark places that usually go undisturbed. Bedbugs often leave droppings on bedding, and their bites can cause people to bleed, leaving small blood stains on sheets and blankets.

Lesions from bedbug bites are often spread out across the entire body, since the bugs are indiscriminate in the places on the body where they feed. Bedbug infestations are often unmanageable. Many people give up trying to rid their home of an infestation and throw away infested furniture or even move to a new home. Bedbugs are especially prevalent in cities and apartment buildings.

Scabies mites live exclusively in human skin when they find a host. Some mites and eggs may be shed onto furniture, but adult mites will try to find a new host when this occurs. Bedbugs can migrate when conditions become inhospitable, and often hide in mattresses, box springs, baseboards or other areas during the day, only crawling onto bedding at night to feed. In addition, scabies lesions are more localized since mites tend to bite and burrow in warmer areas of the body such as skin folds or areas that are covered by clothing.