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Int J Dermatol. 1995 Mar;34(3):186-9.

The role of mast cells in treatment of scabies.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Zagazig, Faculty of Medicine, Egypt.



The purpose of this study was to recognize the role of mast cells in the pathogenesis of scabies.


One hundred and fifty patients and 10 controls were included in the study. Group 1 included 20 patients without previous treatment. In group 2, 80 patients were treated with antiscabietic drugs. Group 3 had 50 patients who received an antiscabietic drug followed by 3 days of crotamiton. Diurnal and nocturnal skin biopsies were taken from group 1. In groups 2 and 3, the biopsies were taken after 2 weeks of treatment. Sections were cut and stained by hematoxylin and eosin and Giemsa stains.


Mast cells were increased in diurnal and nocturnal biopsies. Evident degranulation of mast cells was detected in nocturnal biopsies. The mast cell number decreased to half its pretreatment number in patients treated with antiscabietic drugs and to its normal number in patients treated with antiscabietic drugs followed by 3 days with crotamiton.


The number of mast cells are increased in scabietic lesions. This plays a role in the pathogenesis of the clinical and histologic picture of scabies. We recommend that an antiscabietic drug should be followed by 3 days of crotamiton in the treatment of scabies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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