- Infestation of the skin by the human itch mite, Sarcaptes scabies. The initial symptom of scabies are red, raised bumps that are intensely itchy. A magnifying glass will reveal short, wavy lines of red skin, which are the burrows made by the mites. Treatment is with any of several scabicide medications.
* * *1. An eruption due to the mite Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis; the female of the species burrows into the skin, producing a vesicular eruption with intense pruritus between the fingers, on the male or female genitalia, buttocks, and elsewhere on the trunk and extremities. 2. In animals, s. or scab is usually applied to cutaneous acariasis in sheep, which may be caused by Sarcoptes, Psoroptes, or Chorioptes. [L. scabo, to scratch]- crusted s. SYN: Norwegian s..- Norwegian s. a severe form of s. with innumerable mites in thickened stratum corneum; has been linked with cellular immune deficiencies, including AIDS. SYN: crusted s., Norway itch.
* * *sca·bies 'skā-bēz n, pl scabies contagious itch or mange esp. with exudative crusts that is caused by parasitic mites and esp. by a mite of the genus Sarcoptes (S. scabiei)
* * *n.a skin infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes. Scabies is typified by severe itching (particularly at night), red papules, and often secondary infection. The female mite tunnels in the skin to lay her eggs and the newly hatched mites pass from person to person by close contact. The intense itching represents a true allergic reaction to the mite, its eggs, and its faeces. Commonly infected areas are the penis, nipples, and the finger webs. Treatment is by application of a scabicide, usually permethrin or malathion, to all areas of the body from the neck down; benzyl benzoate may be used but is more irritant. All members of a family need treatment, but clothing and bedding need not be disinfested.
* * *sca·bies (skaґbēz) [L., from scabere scratch] 1. a contagious dermatitis of various different animals, caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei ; the egg-laying female mite digs into the upper layer of the epidermis and makes raised sinuous burrows (cuniculi), which then cause a papular eruption accompanied by intense pruritus sometimes associated with eczema from scratching and secondary bacterial infection. Called also seven-year itch (in humans) and sarcoptic mange (in other animals). 2. psoroptic mange in cattle and horses caused by Psoroptes ovis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.