Scabies - When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor if:
- Family members suddenly develop severe nighttime itching that
does not go away in 3 to 4 days.
- You develop serious side effects from any product used to treat
- Itching lasts longer than 4 weeks after treatment. (After
successful treatment, itching will usually last for 2 to 4 weeks as a result of
the allergic reaction to previous mite bites.)
- You have signs of a skin infection. These may include:
- Increased pain, swelling, heat, redness, or
- Red streaks extending away from the affected area.
- Continued discharge of pus.
- Fever of
100°F (37.8°C) or higher with
no other cause.
Do not wait more than 3 to 4 days to seek
medical help if you think you have scabies. The infestation and symptoms will
not go away without treatment. The longer you wait to seek care, the more
likely you are to spread the mites to other people.
If you are
sure that a case of scabies is related to a similar condition spread by animals
(sarcoptic mange), it may be appropriate to wait as
long as a week. The mites that cause this type of scabies cannot live on human
skin for more than a few days, so the human infestation should go away on its
own without treatment. The animal, though, must be treated by a
Who To See
The following health professionals can diagnose and
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.