What is scabies? 

Scabies is caused by a mite (Sarcoptes scabiei) that burrows under the skin and lays eggs. The mites are very small and difficult to see with the naked eye. Symptoms appear on average 3-9 weeks following infection. There are various forms of scabies. This web page covers classical scabies which is found in healthy people. 

What does scabies cause? 

Scabies causes an itchy widespread rash which can be found on fingers, wrists, forearms, around the waist, armpits, sides of the chest, lower part of the buttocks, insides of legs, and around the ankles. Although it may not appear in all these areas at once, it usually affects both sides of the body alike. The rash is caused by an allergic reaction to the bites and this causes the itching and does not correspond to where the mites are in the body.