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Scabies masquerading as bullous pemphigoid: scabies surrepticius

Authors Cohen PR

Received 4 July 2017

Accepted for publication 9 August 2017

Published 23 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 317—324

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S145494

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg


Philip R Cohen

Department of Dermatology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA


Abstract: Scabies, a parasitic infestation caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, is diagnosed by observing either the mite, its ova, or its excrement. The mite tracts, known as burrows and a characteristic presentation of the pruritic condition, are typically found on the web spaces between the fingers. Other cutaneous lesions include excoriated papules, pustules, and vesicles. However, atypical clinical variants of scabies, such as bullous, crusted, hidden, incognito, nodular, and scalp forms of the parasitic infestation, mimic the morphologic features of other non-parasitic dermatoses. A 76-year-old man presented with pruritic blisters and urticarial plaques that demonstrated not only pathology changes, but direct immunofluorescence also showed findings of bullous pemphigoid. His condition improved, but did not resolve, with topical corticosteroid cream for the management of the primary autoimmune blistering disorder. When other family members subsequently developed scabies, the correct diagnosis for his condition, bullous scabies, was established by demonstrating mites, ova, and scybala on a mineral oil preparation from a skin scraping of a newly appearing burrow. Bullous scabies can masquerade not only clinically, but also both pathologically and immunologically as bullous pemphigoid. Scabies serrupticius is introduced as a unifying term to designate all of the non-classic presentations of S. scabiei mite infestation.

Keywords: bullous, crusted, egg, hidden, incognito, masquerade, mimic, mite, nodular, Norwegian, pemphigoid, Sarcoptes scabiei, scabies, scalp, scybala, surrepticius

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