The itch (scabies)

The "itch" (scabies) is a contagious skin infection caused by mites. It is found everywhere in the world.


The "itch" (scabies) is a contagious skin infection caused by mites. It is found everywhere in the world. Typical symptoms include intense itching and a small red rash. In addition to washing clothes, bed linen and towels, special skin lotions can be used.


Main symptoms

  • Small red rash
  • Mostly between the fingers and toes, on the inside of the wrist, in the armpit and around the genital area
  • Itching of the affected skin areas (in particular in bed at night)
  • Scratch marks

Other symptoms

  • Blisters and nodules, scales and sometimes crusts form on the skin

Causes and treatment


  • Scabies mite (Sarcoptes scabiei)

Scabies is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, but can also be passed on through towels, bed linen and other textiles shared with other people.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Examination of skin scales under a microscope
Possible therapies
  • Lotions that kill the mites
  • Medication against itching

What can I do myself?

  • Scratch as little as possible
  • Full baths in warm water kill the heat-sensitive larvae and nymphs, the first two stages of the mite's life cycle
  • Change clothes at least once a day and wash them at 60 degrees
  • Change bed linen, air mattresses

When to see a doctor?

  • Several people in a “household” (retirement home, residential community, family, etc.) suffer from itching
  • Persistent itching and skin rash


The itch (scabies)

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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