Scabies is an irritation of the skin that is caused by a parasitic mite. The rash that appears with scabies is an allergic reaction to the eggs and feces that the mite leaves in the skin.
Scabies is an extremely itchy rash that usually will show up on the elbows, armpits, between the fingers, around the wrists, on the lower abdomen, and on the genitals. Toddlers can also get the rash on the palms of their hands, soles of their feet, on the scalp, or on the face. The rash will have very thin curved red lines. This is where the mites have actually burrowed into the skin. There could also be small pustules or blisters present.
Children with scabies will usually scratch and cause scabs which can easily become infected.
If you think your child has scabies, you should take them to the doctor. To be certain that it is scabies, the doctor will scrape a small amount of skin off to examine. If it is scabies, the mites and eggs will be visible under the microscope.
Treatment of scabies generally consists of a topical medication that is applied to the entire body. Unfortunately, it will still take up to six weeks for the rash to clear up. During this time, the medication will kill the mites, but the irritants will remain and cause itching. If the itching is too bothersome, antihistamines or cortisone creams can be used. Ask your child’s doctor what they recommend.