infection with the parasitic mite Sarcoptes scabieri,
which causes an intensely itchy rash due to an inflammatory hypersensitivity
reaction. Female mites burrow into the skin and lay eggs; the larvae live
under the skin causing the itching and rash. The rarer Norwegian scabies
results in thick crusts on the skin. Scabies is highly contagious and
may be transmitted by household or sexual contact. Infestation may be
treated using an insecticide such as permethrin (Elimite) or lindane (Kwell).
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