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Scabies 

Scabies
Chapter:
Scabies
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0111
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date: 19 November 2019

Scabies is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabei var. hominis. It is found globally but is commoner in the disadvantaged and overcrowded areas. Although commonest in children, it occurs in any age group. It is mainly spread by close physical contact, and the role of bedding, etc. in this is unclear. The diagnosis is usually clinical, preferably with the addition of visualization of burrows and/or the mite. The mainstay of treatment, in most countries, is either topical permethrin or benzylbenzoate, with the former often preferred as it is less irritant. Oral ivermectin is less effective but may be useful as an adjunctive treatment in heavily infested individuals.

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