• Skin condition caused by tiny insects called mites.
  • Common in children and is more of a bother, but does not cause disease     

Signs and Symptoms

  • The mites that cause scabies dig into the skin and cause a very itchy rash, especially at night.
  • The rash looks like curvy white threads, tiny red bumps, or scratches, and can appear anywhere on the body.
  • It usually appears between fingers and/or toes, on wrists, elbows, waist, buttocks and armpits.
  • On a baby, it can be seen on the head, face, neck and body


  • It can be caught by anyone and has nothing to do with cleanliness.
  • Spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or by sharing clothing or other personal items (i.e. towels or bedding), with someone who is infected.
  • Clothes, towels, bed sheets, etc. can spread the scabies mite if the items were recently in contact with a person who had scabies.
  • The mite can live on clothing and other objects for 3-4 days.


  • Scabies can be treated with medication given by a doctor. A child may still be itchy for a few weeks after the treatment has gotten rid of the mites. This means that the child is reacting to the mites, not that the treatment has failed to get rid of them.
  • All household members and sexual contacts of a person with scabies should be treated at the same time as the person with scabies.
  • Clothing and bed linens worn or used in the 4 days before treatment should be washed and dried on hot cycles or sent to the dry cleaners.
  • Thoroughly vacuum mattresses and other items that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned. Alternatively, items that cannot be washed may be placed in a sealed plastic bag for at least 3 days to 1 week.
  • The house should be vacuumed but no other cleaning is needed.

If your child has scabies, he or she should not return to the daycare or to school for 24 hours after the treatment has begun.