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Scabies treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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Can a doctor treat scabies on Maple?

Yes, a Maple doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment for scabies. The rash scabies leaves on the skin is the most common sign, so a physician may ask to examine the affected area, and collect other pertinent details about your health to make a diagnosis.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

What is scabies?

Scabies is a skin condition caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, which are microscopic mites that burrow under the skin, lay eggs, and continue to breed on the body. Having scabies can be an extremely uncomfortable experience because the mites cause an itchy rash. Although scabies is highly contagious, it isn’t dangerous.

What are the symptoms of scabies?

If a person is infested for the first time, it can take 4-6 weeks for symptoms to appear. Scabies is still contagious during that phase. Someone who has had scabies before will show symptoms within a few days.

Scabies symptoms include:

  • rash, usually red and pimple-like and extremely itchy, but sometimes scaly
  • itching that gets worse at night
  • greyish-white lines on the skin that are slightly raised, from where the mites are burrowing under the skin
  • sores that form from excessive scratching

Adults usually experience these symptoms on certain body parts, including:

  • Between their fingers
  • Inner elbow
  • Behind the knee
  • Under breasts, or around the nipples
  • Shoulder blades
  • Around the waist
  • In the pubic region, especially on the penis and scrotum
  • On the upper thigh and the lower buttocks
  • Inside wrists
  • Around fingernails

Kids can get scabies too. They’re usually affected on the palms of hands and soles of feet, the neck, face and scalp.

Severe scabies, sometimes called Norwegian or crusted scabies, causes a crust to form on the skin. It can be hard to get rid of because of the sheer number of mites present on the body. Most people with scabies have about 10-15 mites on their body at any given time. In cases of severe scabies, the number of mites on the body can be in the hundreds of thousands. Crusted scabies isn’t usually as itchy, and in addition to the symptoms above, can include flaky skin on the face, and hair loss. It most commonly affects people with compromised immune systems, like people with HIV or leukemia.

What causes scabies?

Scabies is caused by prolonged skin-to-skin contact with someone else that has scabies. Scabies isn’t usually passed on with brief contact like handshakes. Mites move from one person to the next during longer skin contact like holding a child, or being intimate with a partner. It is common for entire households to get scabies at once because of how contagious scabies is among people living in close quarters.

If someone has crusted scabies, it’s possible for another person to become infested by sleeping in their unwashed sheets, or borrowing their clothes. This is less common.

How is scabies diagnosed?

In the early stages, a scabies rash looks a lot like other skin conditions such as acne, or bites from other pests like mosquitoes. Later, the rash can cause scaling on the skin that looks similar to psoriasis. Because the scabies rash imitates so many other things, it’s easily misdiagnosed.

A doctor can diagnose scabies by looking at your skin. They’ll look for the burrows, or track marks, that distinguish scabies from other concerns. Sometimes a sample from the burrow may be sent for examination to confirm the presence of eggs, or mite feces.

How is scabies treated?

Medicinal cream is a common treatment for scabies, like Elemite, Eurax, or for those with certain allergies or no success with other treatments, Lindance.

If one person in your household has scabies, it’s likely that the rest of the people in your house do as well. Cleaning sheets and clothing of an infected person, and vacuuming furniture the person has come in contact with will help prevent scabies from spreading.

What is the difference between scabies and eczema?

While eczema and scabies may be similar in appearance, scabies is caused by a mite that burrows under the skin, lays eggs and reproduces, while eczema isn’t linked to any parasite. The cause of eczema is unknown, but is thought to be linked to immune function. While they both can cause itchy, flaky skin, they’re not related conditions.

What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare app for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

You simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

Our doctors can assess symptoms, and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.

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