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pertaining to scabies.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Relating to or affected with scabies.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


(skā′bēz) [L. scabies, itch]
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A contagious infestation of the skin with the itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. It typically presents as an intensely pruritic rash, composed of scaly papules, insect burrows, and secondarily infected lesions distributed in the webs between the fingers and on the waistline, trunk (esp. the axillae), penis, and arms. It readily spreads in households, among playmates, and between sexual partners—that is, among people having close physical contact. illustration; scabietic (-ĕt′ĭk), adjective


An itchy rash that worsens at night and that involves multiple members of the same household is a common presentation.


Because the disease is often missed and occasionally overdiagnosed, scrapings from suspect lesions are examined microscopically to confirm the presence of the mite, its eggs, or its excretions.

Patient care

For children 2 months and older and nonpregnant adults, permethrin 5% cream is applied to the entire body surface. The eyes and mouth are avoided when the cream is being applied. The cream is thoroughly washed off after about 8 to 14 hr. Retreatment is sometimes required if the itch persists for more than a few weeks. Alternatively, nonpregnant patients may be treated with ivermectin given orally. Pregnant women and infants under 2 months of age should be treated with 6% precipitated sulfur in petrolatum daily for 3 days. Infection control in the home includes the washing of all linens, towels, and clothing with hot water and drying them thoroughly.

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