Scabies mites are spread by close contact with someone who has scabies. Scabies can also be spread by sharing towels, bed sheets, and other personal belongings.
Scabies often affects several family members at the same time. You can spread it to another person before you have symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Scabies causes severe itching that is usually worse at night and a rash with tiny blisters or sores. Small children and older adults tend to have the worst itching. Children typically have worse skin reactions.
If this is the first time you have had scabies, it may be several weeks before you have itching and skin sores. But if you have had it before, symptoms will probably start in a few days.
How is scabies diagnosed?
A doctor will suspect scabies based on your symptoms. Scabies is especially likely if you have had close contact with other people who have had similar symptoms.
Sometimes a doctor confirms a diagnosis by looking for signs of mites on a sample of your skin. The doctor gently scrapes some dry skin from an affected area and then looks at it under a microscope. This test is not painful for most people.