Findings in vivo of Sarcoptes scabiei with incident light microscopy

Eur J Dermatol. 1998 Jun;8(4):266-7.


Parasites, especially Sarcoptes scabiei, may represent a difficult diagnostic problem. In many cases, the results of the usual methods for the diagnosis of scabies, such as microscopic identification, can be negative owing to the small number of parasites present in the cornified layer. Moreover, tape stripping or removal of mites with a needle is difficult and sometimes painful, and therefore, not well accepted. We have evaluated the applicability and usefulness of epiluminescence microscopy, a new technique frequently used for the study of pigmented lesions of the skin. Thirty seven patients with the presumptive clinical and/or anamnestic diagnosis of scabies were enrolled in our study. With this method many suspicious sites may be examined within a few minutes without causing any harm or discomfort to the patient.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Sarcoptes scabiei / cytology*
  • Scabies / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity