How Can I Test Myself For Scabies? (Symptoms & Diagnosis)

ScabiesHow Can I Test Myself For Scabies? (Symptoms & Diagnosis)

How can I test myself for scabies?  Have you found yourself wondering this?  Have you developed an unfamiliar rash that is itchy and giving you trouble?  If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you are in the right place, my friend. Read on and you will have the answers to all your queries.

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What Is Scabies?

Scabies is a disease in which microbes infect the body, causing rashes that spread quickly. It affects the upper layer of the skin and tiny borrows are noticed in the area of infection. People can try to self-test themselves for scabies but only a doctor can do the confirmatory test. It is not possible to diagnose scabies at home.

It is done in a lab through Ink Test and Polymerase Chain Reaction Test(PCR). Also, one shouldn’t misdiagnose themselves with scabies by observing symptoms of other diseases which are similar to the symptoms of scabies.

How Does Scabies Infect An Individual?

Scabies is a condition that is characterized by a rash on the skin.  If an individual is infected with the microbe causing this disease, he will notice an itchy rash that spreads quickly to other parts of the body as well.  You will also notice tiny burrows in the area where the rash has developed.

The microbe infects the upper layer of the skin of an individual and lays its eggs there.  On average, 10 – 15 mites are sufficient to cause a scabies infection in an individual.

Identifying Scabies Symptoms

Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin and lay eggs. The condition is characterized by intense itching, which can be very uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life. Identifying scabies symptoms is important for early diagnosis and treatment, as the condition can quickly spread to others through close personal contact.

Here are some common symptoms of scabies:

  1. Intense itching: The most common symptom of scabies is intense itching, especially at night. The itching can be so severe that it can keep people awake at night and lead to skin damage from scratching.
  2. Rash: Scabies can cause a rash of tiny red bumps or blisters, which can be found in folds of skin, such as between fingers, wrists, elbows, and buttocks. In children and infants, the rash may be present on the head, face, neck, and palms.
  3. S-shaped burrows: Scabies mites burrow into the skin to lay eggs, which can appear as thin, wavy, S-shaped lines on the skin. These burrows can be difficult to see and may require a magnifying glass to identify.
  4. Sores and crusts: If scabies is left untreated, it can lead to sores, crusts, and scabs on the skin. These can become infected and may require medical attention.
  5. Other symptoms: Some people may experience other symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches.

It is important to note that scabies symptoms can take several weeks to develop after initial exposure to the mites. Additionally, some people may not experience any symptoms at all, but can still spread the infestation to others.

How Can I test myself for scabies?

A scabies test can only be done by a doctor in a medical setup.  It is not possible to test yourself for this skin disease in your home.  If you have developed scabies a couple of times, there is a good chance that you can suspect the infection in the early stages of the disease, but there is no way that you can perform a confirmatory test at home to know whether or not you are suffering from a scabies infection.

How to Perform a Self-Examination For Scabies?

Gathering Materials

To perform a self-examination for scabies, you’ll need a bright light source and a magnifying glass or a smartphone with a high-resolution camera.

Inspecting Your Skin

Examine your skin thoroughly, focusing on the areas where scabies is most likely to appear. Use the magnifying glass or your smartphone’s camera to zoom in and look for signs of burrows, rash, or mites.

At-Home Scabies Test Kits

Some over-the-counter scabies test kits are available for purchase online or at your local pharmacy. These kits typically include adhesive tape or a specialized scraping tool, which can help collect skin samples for examination under a microscope. Follow the instructions provided with the test kit to collect a sample and look for mites, eggs, or fecal pellets.

How Is Scabies Diagnosed?

In general, if you visit your general practitioner with the symptoms, the doctor will examine the rash and look for signs of burrowing under the skin.

Your doctor will then take a small amount of skin scraping and send it for testing at a laboratory. The presence of the microbe Sarcoptes scabiei will confirm a scabies infection.

What Are the Tests Used to Identify Scabies?

These two tests are the most popular to determine scabies in an individual:

  • Ink Test – In this test, a drop of special ink is placed on the affected area. The drop is then wiped away.  Your medical practitioner will then examine the area under a magnifying glass to observe if the ink remains in the burrow. This test does not always successfully reveal the presence of scabies.
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR) – This is an advanced test that involves genetic testing of the scabies microbe. If the skin scraping has even a tiny part of the parasite, it will be revealed in PCR testing.

Symptoms Of Scabies vs Other Diseases

Contact Dermatitis

This is characterized by a flat red patch.  The rash in contact dermatitis will occur only in the area that came in contact with the allergen.


This is a severe form of bacterial infection of the skin. Clusters of open wounds develop all over the body. Most of the wounds will develop a crust as well.


This is another skin condition in which the patient develops tiny red spots that might be itchy or not. There is characteristic redness in the affected area.

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The patient suffers from itchy, thick, light-colored patches on the skin with this disease.  This is a skin condition that develops as a result of an autoimmune disease.

Conclusion: Be Proactive in Detecting Scabies

Early detection and treatment of scabies are crucial in preventing their spread and minimizing discomfort. By familiarizing yourself with the symptoms, performing a self-examination, and using at-home test kits, you can take proactive steps to safeguard your health and the well-being of those around you. Always consult a healthcare professional if you are uncertain or concerned about your symptoms.


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