ITCH, a contagious disease of the skin (scabies) due to its invasion by the itch-mite (Sarcoptes scabiei), now rather rare in civiliza tion. Even the adult mite is so small as to be barely visible, the female being about one six teenth of an inch long and not quite as wide, while the male is still smaller. It has eight legs, two on each side of the head, to which suckers are attached, and four behind. (See Prot Min). The female .burrows into the skin and deposits her eggs, about 50 in number, and dies after a period of six weeks. After the eggs hatch out, the young make their way to the surface, and the Impregnated females again bur row into the skin, so keeping up the process. The most frequent sites selected by the bugs for their burrows are the web between the fingers, the front of the wrists, the umbilicus, the geni tals in men, and the under side of the breasts in women. The first sign of the disease is itching, which forces the patient to scratch, particularly at night, as the warmth of the bed increases the itch. The skin soon becomes in
flamed from scratching, and the discomfort is increased. Close examination may show the tiny (burrow like a reddened pin-scratch about half an inch long. Many, remedies are used with success but sulphur in the form of an ointment is the most common. As the bugs cannot be killed while still in the skin, a good plan is to take a hot bath with brisk rubbing, apply the ointment night and morning for three days, continuing to wear the same clothing and sleep in the same bed-clothes; at the end of that time another bath is to be taken, all cloth ing and bed-clothes changed, and another series of rubbings started. This must be continued as long as fresh burrows are found.