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September 1973

Scabies Scraping

Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(3):424. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620240070025

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To the Editor.—  This letter is in regard to the article written by Muller et al in the Archives (107:70, 1973) concerning using sterile mineral oil in obtaining scrapings for scabies.For the past 12 years, we have found immersion oil handy and helpful in obtaining more "exciting" scabies preparations.We would like to add several minor points to the article by Muller and coworkers:

  1. Immersion oil is adequate and handier than sterile mineral oil.

  2. Attempt to carefully slice off the entire burrow (Fig 1) instead of repeatedly scraping, which may destroy the structure and relationships of feces, eggs, and mites (Fig 2).

  3. Place the oil on the slide, not the patient.

  4. A magnifying lamp is helpful in detailing burrows and mites.

  5. A higher percentage of burrows are found on the genital area than any other site. Thus, the maxim taught to our doctors

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