There are a number of different skin conditions that can result in an open wound(s) that may require medical intervention.


Eczema is an inflammation of the skin which becomes swollen, red, very itchy, and may blister or weep. It can occur due to contact with chemicals that irritate the skin, or foods that cause an inflammatory response in the skin. Eczema is an interchangeable term for dermatitis.


Scabies is an extremely itchy, non-inflammatory skin condition caused by a mite that burrows into the skin. Transmission is through direct contact with infected persons and contaminated clothing.

Scabies are widespread in many remote Aboriginal communities, with high prevalence in North Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Prevalence rate:

  • Up to 25% of adults
  • Up to 50% of children
  • Up to 70% of preschool age children

Crusted Scabies is a rare infestation by Sarcoptes scabiei, and has a 50% mortality rate at 5 years from secondary infections.

Secondary bacterial infections can cause Group A Streptococcii which can contribute to kidney infections and Rheumatic Fever.