ZocdocAnswersIs the itchy skin on my hand scabies?

Question

Is the itchy skin on my hand scabies?

There is a patch of skin on the back of my right hand that just won't stop itching. Is this scabies? What does it look like? How would I have got something like that?

Answer

Scabies is a well-known infection that results in a devastating itch that starts out slowly and increases in severity over time. It is a contagious skin condition caused by an itch mite known as Scarcoptes scabiei that burrows into the skin of infected humans to produce intense itching. These mites are so tiny (about 1/3 millimeter long) that they can only be seen with a magnified glass or microscope. The symptoms may not appear for up to two months after being infested with the scabies mite. Even though the symptoms do not occur, the infested person is still able to spread scabies during this time. The mode of transmission is direct skin-to-skin contact. Other forms of physical contact like hugging your beloved ones are sufficient to spread the mites. Sexual contact is the most common form of transmission among those who are sexually active, and therefore scabies has been considered by many to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you have scabies, you will likely have a skin rash and sores composed of small red bumps and blisters that look like tiny curving tracks. The tracks may be hard to see after you scratch the area. The itch is typically worse at night. What makes the itch of scabies distinctive is that it is so relentless that may keep people from falling asleep at night for a little while. It is best that you schedule a visit with a primary care provide to have your condition properly evaluated to arrive an actual diagnosis. If it is scabies it will get worse and worse unless the condition is treated. Again, please speak to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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