Scabies Rash: What Does Scabies Look Like On Your Skin?

Monika Singh   by Monika Singh, MS    Last updated on October 3, 2019,

scabies rash

What is scabies rash?

Scabies is a medical condition that produces skin rashes on the skin. These rashes are composed of small red bumps and blisters.

Where does scabies rash appear on the skin?

Scabies rash affects specific areas of the body. These specific areas may include:

  • The webs between the fingers
  • The wrists
  • The backs of the elbows
  • The knees
  • Around the waist
  • Umbilicus
  • The axillary folds
  • The areas around the nipples
  • The sides and backs of the feet
  • The genital area
  • The buttocks
  • Soles of the feet (in infants and very young children)

Characteristics of scabies rash

Some of the characteristics of scabies rash are given below:

  • These rashes look like small red pimple-like bumps on the skin.
  • The bumps may be crusty.
  • Rash is also accompanied by burrows.
  • Burrows is the hallmark of the scabies rash. Their appearance confirms the presence of scabies.
  • Burrows are thin gray, brown, or red lines that emerge from the bumps.
  • Burrows are so thin and tiny that they can be mistaken as scratch marks.
  • When female mites tunnel just under the surface of the skin, burrows are created.
  • Female mites lay eggs in the burrows.

How to identify the scabies rash? What does scabies look like?

It is usually very difficult to identify scabies because the symptoms of scabies are very similar to other skin problems. The following points can help in identifying scabies from other infections:

Red colored rashes

Rashes formed due to scabies are always reddish in color but may vary in degree from skin to skin. The redness gets worse with each passing day. While in case of other infections, the rashes formed are red in color initially but with time, the redness decreases and dies out.

Rashes may look similar to pimples but actually are very different

The difference between the rash and pimples is slight but clear. In scabies, the rashes are formed after itching while in case of pimples, itching is not seen. The itching along with a rash stays for a long period of time in scabies. The rashes of scabies are even, while the pimples have an opening in the middle.

Rashes of scabies are small and round

Rashes are formed when the female mites dig burrows inside the human skin and continually penetrate the skin to lay eggs. The rash of scabies is small and round. If observed carefully, they can be easily differentiated from other infections.

Look for thin black lines

The first and foremost symptoms in case of scabies are thin dark lines that are specially formed in between the fingers of the hand. These lines are actually the tunnels dug by the mites. They are usually very small (roughly 2-10mm long) and identifying them won’t be easy.

Scabies rashes mostly occur on lower part of the body

Rashes caused by scabies appear on the lower portion of the human body during the initial stages. The main areas include ankles, the lower foot, thighs, wrists and palms.

They hardly appear on the neck, head or face of a person during the first few stages. So, a rash on the face or neck should not be the matter of concern unless it continues to stay for a longer period of time.

Monika Singh

Monika Singh is an expert in computer sciences and has pursued her Master’s degree (M.Tech-CS) from Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Her areas of interest include data structure, software engineering, software testing, and computer graphics. Monika Singh has published a paper on “Modified AODV in MANET,” International Journal of Computer Science and Management Studies (IJCSMS), ISSN: 2231-5268, Vol-14, Issue-05 May 2014, PP:12-18.

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