HOW SKIN SAMPLE IS COLLECTED FOR SCABIES DIAGNOSIS

(Summary:
Here is how the skin sample is collected for scabies diagnosis.)

Sometimes it is not easier for a physician to determine if you have scabies with a mere skin observation. After all, the symptoms of scabies like itch and rashes are almost identical to those of eczema and psoriasis.

To rule out the possibility of other diseases, they may order a skin specimen. Under this test, a sample of skin is taken and then sent to the lab for microscopic observation. It is done to check the presence of mites and their eggs.

How Skin is “Taken” for the Test?

Don’t worry! Only scrapping is carried out. As the mites are located under the surface of the skin, scrapings is taken from the infected area.

Here is an overview of the process…

  • A drop of mineral oil is placed on a sterile scalpel blade. Mites will attract to the oil and skin scales will mix with the oil. The oil is allowed to sit onto the papule (skin)
  • The top of the papule is then removed making sure that the tiny flecks of blood get into the oil.
  • The oil and scraped material are then transferred to a glass slide.
  • A few drops mineral oil are placed on the slide and the mixture is then stirred. Any large lumps can be abolished to expose hidden scabies mites. It is then checked under a microscope for the presence of mites and their eggs as well.

However, it is not always possible to see mites in this test, and it depends on how many of them are present near the skin surface. It is done precisely to avoid destroying the burrow.

So you must have understood how skin sample is collected for scabies diagnosis. Make sure to follow the instructions of your physician.

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