What you need to know about a common skin infection

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Kids have been back in school now for less than month. New teachers and schedules are part of the school year, but there’s something else to think about. The threat of scabies, a very common skin rash, can happen in a tight environment where a lot of people gather, so exposure can occur in a classroom.

It’s invisible to the naked eye, but the scabies mite can be seen under a microscope.

“They kind of burrow under the skin and you can see a linear demarcation of where the mite travels to,” said Dr. Richard Uluski with Pediatric and Medical Associates in New Haven.

They cause a pimple-like red rash with a very intense itch.

“Almost like you can see it moving in your skin, not that you can actually see it moving but it looks like a trail of rash,” said Uluski.

The pediatrician says scabies is spread by skin to skin contact.

“It’s not necessarily that you’re living in filth or live in an area that is very dirty, or you’re not washing your hands enough,” said Uluski. “It’s usually from somebody else who has it and not necessarily knows they have it.”

A breakout can easily happen in schools. If it does, Uluski advises parents to look for the symptoms, especially in the fingers and toes before going to the doctor’s office. He does not recommend that parents keep kids home from school.

“When somebody comes into the office and I diagnose them with scabies, I don’t prevent them from going to school, so I give them the treatment and that treatment leaves them non-contagious to other children,” said Uluski.

Treatment includes prescription creams and oral medication.

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