Intended for healthcare professionals

Common problems in the treatment of scabies

Scabies is the most pruritic of all skin conditions and affects all ages. It is estimated to affect about 300 million people worldwide at any time. It is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, a parasite that only infests humans. It is very infectious and transmission is by close body contact; it is, therefore, commonly contracted in the family, workplace and institutions, and by sexual contact. Treatment of scabies, if correctly carried out with the effective medications available, is expected to give a 100% cure rate. Scabies is an endemic condition not only because of missed diagnosis but also due to improper treatment. Immunosuppressed patients experience extensive infestation because of the altered host response, and treatment can be difficult.
Dermatology in practice 2003; 11(2): 27–30
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