Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What are the symptoms of scabies?"
I just got back from a business trip in which I was sleeping in a lot of hotels - and now I'm wearing a brand new rash on my leg. I'm trying not to overreact but this thing is itchy. How would I know if this were scabies? Is there anything worse I could get from hotel sheets?
Scabies is a common skin infection which can be concerning for people who contract it. The doctors who will be able to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Scabies is an infection caused by a tiny, microscopic skin mite. The mite burrows into the skin and deposits eggs and feces. The inflammation from the infection is actually the body's allergic reaction to the eggs and feces. The infection is characterized by small red nodules which are intensely itching and are usually located in dark areas such as the groin, waistlines, and between fingers and toes. Occasionally a waist-shaped burrow can be identified. Scabies is treated with special topical medications prescribed by your doctor. Other possibilities include bed bug bites, if you were traveling in a city which has been experience a bed bug outbreak, such as New York City. These tend to be fewer in number and can occur on any exposed skin surface. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your specific skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor may be advised.
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