Algoma Public Health


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What is it?

  • A parasitic disease of the skin caused by a mite that can only be seen with a microscope.

 What are the symptoms?

  • The mites burrow into the skin and cause a very itchy rash.
  • The rash looks like curvy white threads, tiny red bumps, or scratches and can appear anywhere on the body.
  • Commonly found between fingers, on wrists and elbows, under the arms and around the belt line.
  • In infants only, may be found on the head, neck, palms and soles.
  • Commonly found on thighs and external genitalia in men.
  • Commonly found on nipples, abdomen and the lower portion of the buttocks in women.
  • Sometimes the rash looks very severe, e.g. crusting, scabbing and blistering.

Related Documents



PDF En Français
PDFScabies Notification to Parents

Contact Us!


Sault Ste. Marie: 705-942-4646

Blind River: 705-356-2551

Elliot Lake: 705-848-2314

Wawa: 705-856-7208


  How quickly do symptoms develop?

  • Within 2 to 6 weeks after being in contact with an infected person.
  • People who have been previously infested develop symptoms 1 – 4 days after re-exposure.

 How is it spread?

  • By direct skin-to-skin contact.
  • Transfer from undergarments and bedclothes occurs only if these have been contaminated by infested people immediately beforehand.
  • Can be acquired during sexual contact.

 How long is it contagious?

  • Until mites and eggs are destroyed by treatment.
  • This is usually accomplished with 1 treatment.
  • Children with scabies should not attend school/daycare until 1 treatment is received.

 How is it treated?

  • With a prescribed lotion or cream.
  • A second application of treatment may be necessary after an interval of 7-10 days.
  • All household members who have direct skin to skin contact should also receive treatment.
  • Itching may persist for 1 – 2 weeks after treatment.

 What can you do?

  • After the cream or lotion is washed off change into fresh clothes and change the bed linens.
  • Do not share your facecloth or towel.
  • After treatment observe rash for the next week.
  • If the rash is still spreading refer to the product directions regarding repeat of the treatment.

For further information contact the Communicable Disease Control Program at 705-942-4646 or toll free at 1-866-892-0172.

Date of Creation: June 1, 2015

Last Modified: Feb 25, 2016