Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by a mite (Sarcoptes scabiei) that burrows into the skin, causing an allergic response and extreme itching in an infected individual. Scabies is spread by person to person contact or contact with personal belongings such as sheets and towels. As it is very contagious, an entire family or contact area is often treated to prevent recontamination. Symptoms include severe itching that is worse at night, rash in the armpits, breasts, inner wrists, between the fingers, belly button, buttocks and genitals.
There are several effective medications that treat scabies. While these medications usually quickly kill the mites, itching may persist for weeks after treatment.