Scabies is a skin condition that can cause itching and rashes. It is contagious and can easily spread from one person to another through close physical contact.
Scabies Causative Agent- Cause
It is caused by Sarcoptes Scabiei. These are tiny mites that set up their shop on the uppermost top skin layer. If untreated they can live there for months and many generations. The skin does not take kindly to the invasion.
As the mites burrow and lay eggs inside the skin, the infestation leads to relentless itching and an angry rash. The mite mainly occurs in dogs and cats.
After attacking the human skin they will live in:
- Between the fingers
- The folds of the wrist, elbow, or knee
- Around the waistline and navel
- On the breasts or genitals
- The head, neck, face, palms, and soles in very young children
- On the buttocks
Scabies Way Of Transmission
The disease is not sexually transmitted. It can be transmitted through vectors and also infected areas. Infected areas include beddings, clothes, and furniture or infected dogs.
The disease is cognitive; it can be transmitted from one infected person to another.
People at high risk of conducting the disease include active sexual partners, prison inmates, family members, people harboring unclean pets, and people living in crowded institutions.
Scabies Signs and Symptoms
When a person is infected with scabies for the first time, it can take four to six weeks for the skin to react. However, scabies will be mistaken for other skin diseases in the first days of infection. The difference between scabies and other infections is a relentless itch. It is usually most severe in children and the elderly.
Also, one will experience burrows. These are grayish-white trace like marks on the affected area. The burrows are the hosting place for the eggs laid(a female will lay up to 10-25 eggs in a burrow).
- Intense itching, especially at night
- A pimple-like rash
- Scales or blisters
- Sores caused by scratching
Types of Scabies
Crusted Scabies or Norwegian Scabies
It is a severe type of scabies. The patient will harbor up to 10 thousands of mites. It will cause the skin to develop thick crusts full of mites and eggs. The lesions will feel easy to crumble when you touch.
Most commonly it will affect people with weak immune systems, the elderly, and disabled people. Additionally, the disease will affect people undergoing chemotherapy or patients of rheumatoid arthritis. Crusted Scabies is highly contagious and requires instant treatment to prevent outbreaks.
This type of scabies is the most common. It causes an itchy rash on the hands, wrists and other common spots.
It is different from the others as it does not affect the scalp or face.
It might develop as itchy, raised bumps or lumps. The lesions mostly appear in the genital areas, armpits or groin.
It is treated with topical medications, mainly prescribed by the doctor. Such treatments include 5% permethrin cream, crotamiton cream or lindane lotion.
Additionally, 25% benzyl benzoate lotion or 10% sulfur ointment. Most of the people apply the lotion at night and washed off in the morning.
An oral medication also includes ivermectin. Ivermectin, however, is not used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Also, it is not recommended for children weighing less than 33 pounds.
Other medications such as antihistamines, anti-itching lotions like pramoxine lotion, antibiotics, and steroid creams. This offers relief from symptoms. Prescribed medications are more effective but itching at first will be worse. All in all, healing should take 4 weeks after treatment.
If you’re treating scabies, you can expect that the itching and burning caused by the rash will last for several weeks after treatment begins. That’s because the eggs and mite waste are still in your skin, even if the mites are dead.
Scabies Home Treatment
Sulfur is an ingredient used in several prescription scabies treatments. You can also purchase sulfur over the counter and use it as a soap, ointment, shampoo, or liquid to treat scabies.
It’s important to note, however, that no home treatment diagnosis has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Natural Scabies Treatment
Some treatments are recommended from the old traditions. However, they might cause unwanted side effects, such as burning sensation on the skin, redness, swelling, and even numbness or tingling.
Some natural treatments include:
Tea tree oil– these will work well in easing itching and helping to eliminate rash. However, mites that are burrowed into your skin won’t be affected by the tea tree oil.
Aloe Vera– it will ease skin irritation and burning. It is best to ensure that the product is pure aloe vera and not infused product.
Capsaicin cream- Cayenne peppers make capsaicin which may relieve pain and itching. It does this by desensitizing your skin to the bites and bugs.
Essential oil– some of the essential oils include clove oil, lavender, lemongrass, and nutmeg. Among the other oils, clove oil is considered a natural bug killer and the rest essential oil could have some benefits.
Soaps– soap containing components from the bark, leaves, and seeds of the neem tree might kill the mites that cause scabies.
The best prevention method for scabies is by avoiding direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or with items such as clothing or bedding used by an infected person. The recommended treatment also states that members of the same household, particularly for those who have had prolonged skin-to-skin contact should avoid such contact.
All household members and other potentially exposed persons should be treated at the same time as the infected person to prevent possible reexposure and reinfestation. Bedding and clothing worn or used next to the skin anytime during the 3 days before treatment should be machine washed and dried using the hot water and hot dryer cycles or be dry-cleaned.
Items that cannot be dry-cleaned or laundered can be disinfested by storing in a closed plastic bag for several days to a week. Scabies mites generally do not survive more than 2 to 3 days away from human skin. Children and adults usually can return to childcare, school, or work the day after treatment.
Persons with crusted scabies and their close contacts, including household members, should be treated rapidly and aggressively to avoid outbreaks. Institutional outbreaks can be difficult to control and require rapid, aggressive, and sustained the response.
Rooms used by a patient with crusted scabies should be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed after use. Environmental disinfestation using pesticide sprays or fogs generally is unnecessary and is discouraged.
Scabies and Bedbugs
We endeavor to keep our content True, Accurate, Correct, Original and Up to Date.
If you believe that any information in this article is Incorrect, Incomplete, Plagiarised, violates your Copyright right or you want to propose an update, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the proposed changes and the content URL. Provide as much information as you can and we promise to take corrective measures to the best of our abilities.
All content in this site is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor, psychiatrist or any other health care professional. We are not responsible or liable for any diagnosis, decision or self-assessment made by a user based on the content of our website.
Always consult your own doctor if you're in any way concerned about your health.