Scabies Mite


Scabies is a highly contagious, itchy skin condition caused by very small, wingless insects or Mites called the Human Itch Mite or Scabies Mite. While an adult Scabies Mite can range in size from 0.2mm to 0.4mm, which makes it just barely large enough to be seen by the human eye, it’s nearly transparent body makes it almost impossible to see without the aid of a microscope. Also, since the scabbies Mite burrows into the skin it is more likely that you will see the Scabies Mite trail and not the actual Scabie Mite itself.

The Scabies Mite has been recorded at least 2,500 years ago and has infested humans ever since. Any race or age, regardless of personal hygiene can be affected. There are more than 300 million cases of Scabies that occur worldwide every year.

The Scabies Mite Cycle

What is the life cycle of the Scabies Mite?

Sarcoptes Scabei
Sarcoptes Scabei

The life cycle begins when the newly mated female selects a site on the skin for burrowing. The female Mite uses suckers on her legs (called ambulacral suckers) to attach herself to the skin surface and then cut a channel into the skin using her jaws (chelicerae), as well as the cutting edges on her first pair of legs. She burrows only in the top layer of epithelium (skin). Over her lifetime the burrow can reach 2-3 cm and is seen as the zigzag line. The female eats the skin and emits secretions as she is making her burrow. Once the female is established in the burrow she rarely, if ever, leaves it.

“Female starts laying eggs within a few hours…”

The female starts laying eggs within a few hours of burrowing into the skin. She continues to lay eggs at a rate of two to three times a day for up to two months. Larvae emerge from the eggs three to four days after they have been laid. The first stage of the larva is a very small six-legged Mite. After emerging from the egg, the larva moves out of the burrow and onto the skin where it searches for a suitable hair follicle to use as shelter. It lives in the hair follicle for two molts, approximately four to six days, before it becomes an adult. After completing all the molts, the Mite now has all eight of its legs. At this point the Mites return to the surface of the skin where the male Mites search for female Mites to mate with, starting the cycle all over again. The entire life cycle can be completed in 10-17 days.

Life Cycle of a Scabies Mite
Life Cycle of a Scabies Mite

Signs, Symptoms of Scabies

A very small, hard to see, zigzag blister usually marks the trail of the insect as she lays her eggs. If the scabies infection is left untreated, the amount of these trails may become so many that they begin to resemble a road map. If these signs are present scabies treatment is indicated.

Scabies on the armEarly Scabies rash will show up as:

  • pimples little red bumps like hives
  • tiny bites (see scabies bite photos)

Areas where scabies biteScabies usually begins in the body’s warm humid folds and crevices and where garments or jewelry press against the skin, such as:

  • Armpits
  • Chest / Under Breasts
  • Fingers
  • Skin under Jewlery and Watches
  • Belt Line
  • Inner Thigh
  • Genital Area
  • Buttocks



Other Signs and Symptoms of Scabies are:

  • A red scabies rash, which can occur in the areas that have been scratched. Review our scabies bite photos to determine if they look the same as your bite reactions.
  • Intense itching, especially at night
    • Children experience itching primarily on the soles of their feet, scalp and palms of their hands. They may also experience irritability, sleeplessness and tiredness.
    • In babies, the neck and head may be affected. The itching is due to an allergic reaction to the tiny black pepper mites, which are associated with a rash of red, raised spots.
  • Skin may become crusty or scaly as the infection progresses.

Questions? Access a very In-Depth FAQ source for Scabies

Natural Scabies Treatments Preferred over Traditional Toxic & Deadly Scabies Treatments


ToxicTraditional Scabies treatments continue to contain deadly pesticides harmful to children and adults. We wonder why something that can be so deadly is still commonly being sold in our local pharmacies and grocery stores. There obviously was a need to develop a formula safe for children and adults without any deadly, toxic ingredients or pesticides. DermaTechRx Research Center took on that challenge and dedicated most of its resources on a save non-toxic treatment for scabies. Read on for more information.

Pyrethrum and Lindane are used as the primary active ingredient in most over the counter scabies products. Both of these ingredients are labeled with CAUTION, and Lindane has been banned in several states because of its high toxicity. Both of these toxic ingredients are responsible for death, neurological problems, asthmatic breathing, nasal stuffiness, headaches, nausea, loss of coordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, burning and itching.

The most severe poisonings have been reported in infants and small children, who are not able to efficiently break down these pesticides. Even worse is that doctors continue to prescribe these toxic treatments even though they are only about 30% effective. The scabies mite have built up a resistance against these pesticides over the last several decades and that is why Pyrethrum and Lindane is no longer effective for treating scabies.

Post Nodular Scabies

Often severe cases or individuals with sensitive skin scabies can develop a condition called nodular Scabies. This happens when debris, body parts, infectious or fecal matter from the black pepper mites becomes trapped under your skin. The body’s natural process is to encase and expel foreign matter. These encasements harden and can cause severe itching that can last for several months. Thorough skin Scabies cleansing and exfoliation during your Scabies treatment is a critical part of a fast and complete cure of Scabies.


Treatment becomes more difficult when a person develops a disease called crusted Scabies or Norwegian Scabies. This is when large areas of the body, hands and feet are scaly and crusted. Signs and symptoms of Scabies are far more severe than usual and these crusts hide thousands of live Mites and eggs, making Scabies treatment difficult.

It’s important to use the right Scabies treatment program to soften and break down the crusts and to also treat for secondary infections. This type of Scabies occurs mostly among the elderly and in AIDS patients; therefore it is important to boost the immune system.

Hyperkeratotic, crusted lesions are usually seen on the hands, feet, nails, scalp, and ears. It may not cause itching, or may occasionally mimic Eczema or Psoriasis. Crusted Scabies or Norwegian Scabies is highly contagious. An immunocompetent individual carries only about 12 female Scabies Mites; however, an immunocompromised host can have thousands to millions of Mites. Outbreaks of Scabies in institutions can often be traced to one index case of crusted Scabies or Norwegian Scabies.

Scabies Transmission

Scabies is easily contracted indirectly by sleeping in a bed, sitting in chair or other area where someone with Scabies has been for any length of time. Many have contracted Scabies, even in the cleanest hotels, because often not all bedding is changed from previous guests. Scabies black pepper mites are so small that they easily pass through most sheets and bedding. They are attracted to humans by the body heat we emit. We have found that many uninformed people afflicted with Scabies will stay at hotels while treating their homes with pesticides. They think they are doing the right thing by leaving and hope that the Scabies infestation will die in a few days.

Unfortunately, this misguided notion only helps to spread Scabees to more people. This is also why any Scabies treatment program that doesn’t include treating your environment to kill Scabies has a less than stellar success rate.

Note: Since biting black pepper mites and bed bugs are so much more mobile than Scabees Mites, treating your environment carries just as much weight and importance as treating yourself. Treating your environment will assure that you will not be re infested.

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Scabies is Very Contagious and Usually Spread By:

  • Personal prolonged constant close contact, usually starting at the wrist caused by holding hands with a person who has Scabies.
  • Close contact with infected clothing, socks, sweaters, bedding or towels
  • Shaking hands
  • Sleeping together or sleeping on a mattress that has been infested with Mites from someone who slept on it within the last 72 hours.
  • Sitting on a cloth chair or couch that has been infested with black pepper mites from someone who sat on it for an extended period of time (an hour) within the last 72 hours.

Most common environments are:

  • Elderly people in nursing homes.
  • Nurses, caretakers, aids & doctors are also at risk
  • Sexual partners in overcrowded living conditions
  • Children who are in school
  • Families with young children
  • Roommates
  • Soldiers
  • Prisoners

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It is not unusual to feel fine while in one location and suddenly feel intense itching or things crawling on you when you get in your car or arrive at work. Mites can survive on objects for up to 72 hours off of the host. For this reason, frequent washing of clothing, towels or bedding is necessary. Vacuuming regularly, steam cleaning, using a residual deterrent such as All Stop Diatomaceous Earth in your carpets, rugs, wind sills, furniture, cars, bedding etc., and sealing your mattress in a mattress bag is important to your recovery.

Scabies does not occur because of poor hygiene, despite what some people think; however, it can contribute to an infestation.

Scabies Diagnosis

Scabies is sometimes difficult to diagnose because the Scabies rash looks like other skin conditions, such as eczema, ringworm or some form of skin dermatitis or allergy. If more than one person in the family is itching, then chances are it is Scabies. It is not uncommon for different people in the same family to experience different skin irritations. Different people react differently to the toxins from the Mites. View Scabies bite photos.

Skin Scraping Test

The most reliable test involves having the suspected area scraped using a sharp blade with sterile mineral oil. The knife blade is held firmly against the skin at 90 degrees and moved back and forth quickly a few times. The oil and skin Scabies scrapings are then placed on a microscope slide for viewing. The scrapings are then viewed under a microscope by a doctor or in order to detect Scabies Mites, eggs and/or feces. Since a typical person infested with Scabies may only have 15 or 20 Scabies Mites on them it may take several scrapings to detect them.

Ink Test

An ink test is when a blue or black felt-tipped pen is applied to the suspected areas. After the skin is cleaned, the ink may sink into the Mite burrows, allowing them to be located.

Myths and Facts

Fact: Having a strong immune system may prevent some people from getting Scabies, even if they are in close contact with someone that already has it. However, we don’t advise that you take that chance.

Fact: Scabies Mites can “engineer” counter measures or enzymes that neutralize the effectiveness of lindane, permethrins and other neuro toxins commonly used to combat skin mites on humans. These skin mites become super resistant and difficult to get rid of.

Fact: Overuse of lindane, permethrins and other neuro toxins commonly used to be effective against skin mites can cause very harmful side effects, including but not limited to:

  • asthmatic breathing
  • temporary paralysis
  • liver failure
  • general weakness
  • lethargy
  • lowered ability to concentrate

Myth: Once you have had Scabies you can’t get it again.

Even with the use of dangerous, highly toxic poisons, you can easily get Scabies again if you are exposed. There is no immunity drug available to prevent a new outbreak.

Complete Scabies Treatment Solution

Myth: Apple cider vinegar for is effective for treating Scabies.

Apple cider will provide some relief from the itching of Scabies, however, it may only drown some of the skin mites and it will not actually get rid of the entire infestation.

Myth: Salt water eliminates Scabies.

Salt water, depending on its salinity and mineral content, has marginal benefits and relief as a Scabies treatment.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

What is Norwegian Scabies?
Norwegian Scabies, also known as crusted Scabies or Norwegian Scabies, is the most severe form of Scabies. There is no difference between the Norwegian Scabies Mite and the common Scabies Mite. The significant distinction between these two forms of Scabies is primarily the number of skin mites that are present. Norwegian Scabies is more contagious because instead of several skin mites infesting your skin, you will have thousands or even millions. The skin crusts and falls off easily and these flaking scales contain an enormous number of the Mites, making Norwegian Scabies the most contagious of all forms of Scabies. Those with a compromised immune system or impairment are at higher risk of developing Norwegian Scabies. The most prevalent sites for severe outbreaks of Norwegian Scabies are hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, and homeless shelters. A few other circumstances that are specific to Norwegian Scabies are:

  • Very little itching
  • Often misdiagnosed as Psoriasis
  • May affect the scalp
  • Transmission occurs with minimal contact
  • Thickening of the skin on the palms, foot soles, elbows, and knees
  • Widespread scabies rash and flaking of the skin

What are the Symptoms of Scabies?
Early Scabies rashes will show up as pimples, or little red bumps like hives and tiny bites. A red rash can occur at the area that has been scratched and intense itching occurs especially at night.

You can view our Scabies bite photos and compare them with your Scabies symptoms to determine if you have Scabies and if you need to seek treatment for scabies.

Can I use baking soda for Scabies?
Baking soda for Scabies, when used as an additive for laundering and sprinkling on carpet, has not proven very effective. There aren’t any studies that show baking soda can be used for anything else when dealing with Scabies symptoms, either.

What does a Scabies look like and what do mites look like?
It’s not uncommon to exactly want to know what does scabies look like or what do mites look like. We’ve provided you with pictures of the Scabies rash on this site.

Although the Scabies rash can look different on people, it usually shows up as little pimples or little red bumps and the rash usually appears between the folds of your skin, between the fingers, around your waste and in your private areas.

What are household Scabies remedies?
Warning! We do not advise treating Scabies with home scabies remedies. These can make the condition worse.

  • Garlic is helpful in controlling skin mites but its use has shown only limited benefits.
  • Apple cider will provide some relief from the itching of Scabies however it will not remove them other than by drowning.
  • Salt water, depending on its salinity and mineral content, has marginal benefits and relief as a scabies remedies for Scabies.
  • Baking Soda and Borax for Scabies when used as an additive for laundering and sprinkling on carpet are effective.

How contagious is Scabies?
Scabies is highly contagious and if left untreated, can get worse. Any race or age, regardless of personal hygiene, can be affected. A person can contract Scabies as simply as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many of our customers report contracting Scabies from sleeping in motels, movie theater seats, sitting on a couch at a friend’s home or wearing clothing belonging to someone else. This is not just a sexually transmitted disease.

Is olive oil toxic to Scabies and Lice?
No, olive oil is not toxic to Scabies. However, some people have used olive oil as a home remedy to treat Lice on the head. However, we do not recommend this procedure. For more information and treatments on lice, please visit our informative DermaTechRx™ page on Lice.

Scabies Solution

What is the difference between Scabies and Crabs?
Scabies and crabs are two different organisms and are treated in two separate ways.

  • Crab lice or pubic lice aka “crabs” or “cooties”. They are visible to the naked eye and live in pubic, chest and even armpit hair. If you look hard enough, you can actually see them. Crabs are usually passed from person to person through sexual contact. You can also get them from sleeping on infested bedding, using towels, or borrowing clothing from someone who has them. For more information, please visit our informative DermaTechRx™ page on Crabs and scabies. There are pictures on this link so you know what does Scabies look like and what do mites look like.
  • Scabies are Mites that live under the skin. They cause skin irritations that resemble Eczema, rashes or even Poison Ivy. You may find raised bumps or ridges on the skin between fingers, under the breasts, around the waist, wrists, genitals, or buttocks. Are you wondering how do you get Scabies? You can get Scabies through both sexual contact and contact with infested clothing, bedding, towels, or even furniture. Everyone wonders how do you get Scabies if you are a clean person; it has nothing to do with your hygiene.

How effective is neem oil soap for Scabies?
While Neem is a natural alternative for healthy skin and hair, it’s effectiveness for Scabies is still undetermined at this time. However, Shea Butter Soap will give you the same healthy skin and hair with a proven effective Scabies treatment.

Is it normal for Scabies to come and go?
If Scabies comes and goes, this means that the person is getting reinfested from another infested person or their environment. The most common way a person gets reinfestation is from their mattress, clothing or their car; however it is not limited to just these ways.

To learn more on Scabies you can visit a Scabies forum.

Is it common to catch Scabies in the African American population?
Yes; however Scabies is not limited to any one population. Anyone can get Scabies.

What are the problems with picking at Scabies lesions?
The primary problem is secondary infection. Most Scabies lesions become infected from the scratching. This is why it is important to relieve the person from the itching as soon as possible.

Is it something other than Scabies? Could it be Morgellons Disease?
People live for months or even years with a condition they think is Scabies. Many people who have been misdiagnosed with Scabies actually have Collembola. Collembola seems to have the same causes that Morgellan’s Disease, Lisa’s Disease and Fiber Disease have. For more information about Collembola and Morgellons, please visit our informative DermaTechRx™ Skin Parasites page. We also provide you with a skin parasite and Scabies forum on this link to share your experience with others.

Life After Scabies

Yes, there is life after Scabies! You will probably go through a period known as nodular Scabies or “Post Scabies Syndrome“. During this time your skin will still be red and itchy and you will still occasionally get red or brownish colored bumps. This is caused by all of the debris (Mite skin, feces, and eggs) that is left under the skin by the Scabies mites. Your body has an allergic reaction to the debris which causes the redness, bumps, and itching. This is completely normal and will stop in 3 to 6 weeks as your skin regenerates itself. Customers often ask “how do I know when my Scabies infestation is finished?” When the pin prick biting stops is a good indication of the end of a Scabies infestation.

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Prevent Re-infestation of Scabies by Cleaning Your Environment Daily

Steps to prevent re-infestation from your living environment can be just as important as treating your body for scabies.  The following tips can can greatly reduce your chances of re-acquiring scabies:

  1. Using DE (Diatomaceous Earth), which is a natural key component of pesticide dusting powder, as a long-term barrier between you and the Scabies Mites. Apply Diatomaceous Earth on your furniture, in your car, even on your carpets and bedding, to make them deadly to Scabies Mites and other parasites.  A food-grade, non-toxic fossil-shell dust is safest to use around children and pets.
  2. Mattresses are a primary source from which most people get re-infested outside of direct physical contact with an infected person. The scabies mites leave your body while you are lying in bed and venture into the mattress and come back up the next night to reinfest you when they sense warmth. Use a Professional Steam Cleaner to immediately get rid of any Scabies Mites and eggs on the seams and tufts of your mattress and box spring. And for long-term Scabies remedies, sprinkle DE over your mattress and place a Mattress Cover over your mattress to trap any Scabies that may have infested it and prevent any future infestations. This is critical to eliminate reinfestation. Wipe the mattress cover with a disinfectant spray EVERY NIGHT before you put Mite free sheets on the bed.
  3. All bed clothes (spreads, comforters, sheets, pillow cases, blankets) including pillows should be put into the dryer on high EVERY NIGHT before placing them on your bed. Remember that 140 degree heat eradicates the Scabies mites in 20 to 30 minutes. Remove any down comforters or feather pillows and bag them up for later use, when you’re Mite free. Excess bedding should be stored until the Mite and Scabies problem has been eliminated to avoid excessive cleaning.
  4. Use a Steam Cleaner to clean the carpets in your home, car seats, office chair and other upholstered furniture.
  5. All clothes should be placed in the dryer on High for 20 minutes before wearing them. After laundering them, store your clean, sanitized clothes in large plastic bags during the cleaning process.
  6. If you are experiencing Scabies mites on your feet or lower leg sections, it is probably because you are getting infested from your shoes, socks or from your car mats. Use the Professional Steam Cleaner to steam the floor boards and mats in your car and eliminate any Scabies mites or eggs infesting them. Spray Disinfectant spray in your shoes and then use a hot hairdryer in your shoes daily.
  7. Never use the same bath towel twice and always throw it in the clothes dryer on high before putting it in the dirty clothes hamper.
  8. Vacuum thoroughly and often to remove as many Scabies mites as possible from furniture and carpets.  Discarding the bag after each vacuuming to prevent re-infestation is helpful. We suggest using a HEPA rated filter and a crevice tool for maximum cleaning.
  9. Scabies Mites can live without a host from 24 to 72 hours. Some types of biting Mites can live up to a month without a host.

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What is DE?


DE (Diatomaceous Earth) is a non-toxic, safe substance made up from the crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. It is used when controlling insects, Mites and springtails. DE is crushed to a fine powder which resemble bits of broken glass. Insects and parasites scratch through the dust, damaging the insects exoskeleton and causing it to dehydrate and die. These particles are deadly to any insect, yet completely harmless to people and animals.

It has been estimated that 1 cubic centimetre of this sediment beds may contain as many as 24,000,000 shells (or 400,000,000 in 1 cubic inch). These beds, called diatoMite or diatomaceous earth, are then mined from underwater sources or from ancient dried lake bottoms.

TARGET PESTS: DE is used to control Scabies Mites, Bed Bugs, Skin Parasites, Lice, ants and just about any pest and insects in or around the home. It remains active as long as it is present.

Scabies in Pets is called Mange- Mange Resources;
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WHERE TO USE IT: Commonly used on carpets, rugs, window sills, baseboards, on pets, in the home or outside on the lawn or in the flower bed. It won’t hurt plants or grass and can be applied by just shaking it out over the infested areas you want to treat.

RATE OF APPLICATION: No specific guideline has been established with this product. However, we have found you can expect to get about 100 sq/ft of area treated well with one lb of powder for medium to bad infestations. If you are treating a mild amount of activity, expect to get about 200 sq/ft treated per lb of powder. Water will wash this product away so treatments can be short lived. However, if you have a dry crawl space and treat it with this material, it could last up to 6 months. Outdoors, where it is subject to rain and other water sources, applications could only last a week and rarely last over a month unless it is excessively dry.

Other Shocking Facts

“Until You ATTACK all Sources of Your Scabies,
You May NEVER Completely Get Rid of It!”

Treating for Scabbies is a multi-step process and if not done correctly, you may not be successful at eradicating the Scabies Mite. It’s important to understand that the chances of being reinfested or passing the parasites on to a family member is great because Scabies, Collembola and biting Mites can live off the host for a period of time only to re-infest you later. Eradicating parasites from your home, your mattress, your favorite chair, your car, your carpet and your clothes puts you in a position for success. Don’t let anyone make you believe that all you have to do is to put the Scabies products on your skin and you are all done.

Don’t Be Fooled!

Eradicating Scabies Mites is much more than applying a product ONCE and expecting it to be over! The fact that Scabies Mite have been around for over 50 million years isn’t just a coincidence. Mites’ natural way of living on and off the host, makes it very difficult to control them, especially once they have established themselves in your home. It’s a lot of work and it begins with your home, your mattress, your clothes, your vehicle, your furniture, and applying products daily until your Scabies mite problem is resolved.

More Information


For information on Skin Parasites and the difference between them and scabies visit our skin parasites research center page.