This is a photomicrograph of a skin scraping that contains a scabies mite, eggs, and feces. This animal burrows into the skin, depositing both eggs and feces. A scabies infestation causes intense itching (pruritus) which leads to scratching and damage of the skin (excoriation). If left untreated, the infestation may last for years, and has been called the "seven year itch".
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.