Scabies is an easily spread skin disease caused by a mite and it's on the rise. Affecting both children and adults, the microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays eggs. Scabies is usually spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has it. Daycare centers, schools and nursing homes are often prone to outbreaks. To diagnose, a doctor will examine the skin for signs of scabies. An examination of skin scrapings, under a microscope, may also be done to look for mites.
Many skin conditions, such as dermatitis or eczema, are associated with itching and small bumps on the skin. Your doctor can help determine the exact cause and ensure that you receive proper treatment. Bathing and over-the-counter preparations may ease itching, but they won't eliminate scabies.