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Skin problems: acute and chronic 

Skin problems: acute and chronic
Chapter:
Skin problems: acute and chronic
Author(s):

Margot Gosney

, Adam Harper

, and Simon Conroy

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199592340.003.0022
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date: 27 July 2021

Scabies 504

Dr Margaret EM Kirkup

Pruritus 505

Dr Margaret EM Kirkup

Scabies is a contagious disease due to the ectoparasitic mite Sarcoptes scabieii. It is endemic in many care homes and is transmitted by skin to skin contact. Carers and ‘kissing contacts’ may be infected asymptomatically. The incubation period before itching begins is up to 3 weeks but shorter in recurrent infestations. The female mite burrows into skin to lay eggs. Itch and eczematous rash are due to an immunological reaction to the mites or their products. Scratching contributes to the typical appearance of excoriated papules. Creases, genitals, and breasts are often affected, with the head and neck being spared. Burrows can be seen on close inspection in good light and the mite extracted and identified on light microscopy. There may be very few burrows in spite of widespread rash....

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