The symptoms of scabies are usually diagnosed by a doctor. The doctor will look for the characteristic signs of the presence of a scabies mite infestation. These symptoms include severe itching of the skin and the presence of thin mite burrow tracks under the surface of the skin. In particular, the doctor will focus on the skin fold areas of the body because these are the usual areas of infestation by the scabies mites.
The doctor, during his diagnosis, will also try to ascertain if the patient has been in contact with a family member or other individual that has scabies as these situations increase the odds of the occurrence of a scabies skin problem.
The doctor may also take skin scrapings of the affected skin areas. These scrapings are then examined under a microscope. With microscopy, the physician will be able to see any scabies mites, the mite eggs, perhaps some empty egg casings, and even possibly mite feces. The discovery of any of these elements will allow for a positive scabies diagnosis. However, one problem with this method is that mites may not be present in the sampled area and therefore, a negative result from this test does not necessarily rule out scabies completely. In this case, the doctor may revert back to a diagnosis based simply on the scabies symptoms.
Sometimes an ink test is used to diagnose the scabies skin care problem. Ink from a felt tip marker is placed on the itchy skin areas and then wiped off. The mite burrows will absorb the ink more than the surrounding skin and make the burrows more noticeable and easily identifiable.
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