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".
Review Date 11/3/2017
Updated by: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.