As you may know, scabies is a mite that lives under the skin. It burrows through there, feasting on your skin cells, laying its eggs, and defecating. All this action will cause an allergic reaction that is extremely itchy.
If you think you have scabies, you will want to look at these pictures of scabies on the skin. They will help you better understand what is going on. Two things to look for are the red bumps, indicative of a scabies allergic reaction, and the scabies trails, where the mite has burrowed through. These often get destroyed by itching, so you may not be able to see them easily.
First a diagram from Health.com:
This picture is from Hardin MD:
It usually looks like a lot of red dots, sometimes in a line, as if the mite had burrowed through there. One tell tale sign of scabies is the burrows, so you may want to look at these pictures of scabies burrows. However, the red dots are not actually mite bites, like some people may think. They are actually the allergic reaction from the mite.
For that reason, you won’t see them clear up after using the medicine for a week. It can actually take two to four weeks before the reaction goes away, after the mite is dead. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may do another skin scraping to see if it is still present.
Here is a diagram of the mite burrowing through the skin. This is from lindane.com, but a virus warning is coming up on that site so I won’t link to it here.
We’ve talked a lot about human scabies. But what about man’s best friend, the dog? Does he get canine scabies?
Actually, yes. But canine scabies is usually called mange. The type of mite that a dog gets is different from the mite which plagues humans. Humans cannot catch mange from a dog, nor can a dog give humans their form of scabies. Sometimes the mite does transfer over, but it usually dies out on its own. With human scabies, the symptoms will get worse instead of better.
Now, dogs can actually contract the same mite that humans do – sarcoptes scabiei. This does transfer back and forth between dogs and humans. So if your dog has this type of mite, your whole family will need to be treated for scabies along with the dog. The dog’s collar and bedding will also need to be cleaned or replaced.
Dogs are actually born with their mites, and most of the time, the dog and the mite live in symbiosis. This means that neither of them cause harm to the other. These types of mites are called demodectic mites, and they are usually transferred to a dog when it is a puppy cuddling with its mother.
Sometimes, these mites get out of control and create infestations. This can cause the hair to fall out and the dog’s skin to get infected. There are three types of canine scabies – localized, generalized, and pododermatitis.
Localized happens a lot. It’s where one colony of the mite grows out of control, creating a bald patch on the skin. This usually happens on the face, and it creates a polka dot appearance. 90% of the time, this will resolve itself.
Generalized affects larger areas of the skin or even the dog’s entire body. It often gets a secondary bacterial infection, which makes it very smelly and itchy. Generalized canine scabies often indicate a problem with the dog’s immune system or other health issue. Treatment will depend on the age of the dog and what health issues are found.
The most resistant form of mange is found on the foot. This is called demodectic pododermatitis, and is usually accompanied with a bacterial infection. This usually requires deep biopsies to get an accurate diagnosis.
There’s nothing worse than a scabies infestation. Unfortunately, you can’t see one with your eyes as this mite is microscopic. You can see the bumpy red rash, but that is more indicative of the allergic reaction to the mite rather than the mite itself. The red rash can look like other infections of the skin, but the tell tale sign is the presence of scabies burrows. You can see some pictures of scabies burrows here.
You may occasionally find pictures of scabies infestation, but these are all what they look like under the microscope. These are interesting to look at especially in a full color microscope.
Here are some pictures of scabies infestation…
This picture shows the mites up close and personal as they tunnel through someone’s skin. They look like aliens, don’t they! This picture comes from Under the Microscope.
Then there is what the doctor will see as he looks in the normal microscope. Still not pleasant, but not as quite as much of a close up…
That picture is from a skin scraping. You can see the feces as the little black dots, and the large round bubbles are scabies eggs.