Scabies are parasitic mites (Sarcoptes scabiei) that burrow below the surface of the skin.

They lay eggs under the skin to hatch. The larvae then move to a new area to spread infection. Mites prefer warm zones (folds of skin on elbows, wrists, buttocks, knees, armpits, shoulder blades, waist, breasts and penis, between the fingers and under the nails).