Scabies is a very irritable and itchy condition caused by the mites with the scientific name Sarcoptes Scabiei. The mites can live on the human skin for over a range of days to months. They reproduce by burrowing into the skin. The more they burrow and lay eggs and spread the more the skin will be affected. This results in the formation of pimple like sores on the skin. The person affected by it will feel like scratching the affected skin surface. The sensation to scratch the itch is the result of an immune response to the allergy. At first it will seem to be nice but over a period of time it will be painful and will bleed. There are about more than 300 million known cases of scabies in the world. Scabies are so contagious that they can be transferred from one person to another even by mere touch, sharing of towels and clothes and beds. When affected, it is advised to consult a physician for quick remedy. Usually the treatment involves treating the whole connected persons because they may have chances of getting affected by scabies. The ointment prescribed for the scabies kills the mites and eggs and hinders further growth of the mites.
Symptoms Of Scabies :
- It takes about a month for the scabies to appear and to show its effect.
- It is characterized by the small pimple like sores on the skin.
- If left untreated it may start to develop rapidly on the skin. The person who had been victims of scabies before get easily affected by it.
- Intense itching that can get worse at night.
- Excessive scratching that results in blood sores.
- Children are most likely to get affected by scabies.
- The areas that get affected in children are head, neck, feet soles, face, stomach, chest and hands.
- In the adults, the areas that get affected are not similar to that of the children. The areas include armpits, genital organs, elbows, gap between the fingers, hips, wrists, nipples and waist.
- A very rare form of the scabies called as crusted scabies is characterized by scaly and hard sores.
- It is a special type of scabies that needs additional care than the normal ones.
- Crusted scabies affects people with low immune system, regular users of drugs and steroids and other chemical substances that affect the strength of the body.
- The sores formed by the crusted scabies fragment quickly when touched. They are found to be gray in color.
- For people getting affected by the scabies for the first time will not witness the symptoms unless it is more than a month.
- But to those who have been affected before the rashes develop quickly.
Causes For Scabies :
Scabies are mites that can easily cause an outbreak in an household even by affecting a single family member. The reasons for their infestation are as follows :
- Staying in an improper place which is devoid of any hygiene. The mites dwell in thousands as they can multiply in such a way so as to cause an outbreak.
- Touching others who are affected by this mites. Certain social customs like handshakes and pat can result in the infestation of this mite.
- It is also spread to sexual partners who maintain sexual relationship with each other.
- Sharing soaps, pillows, sheets, combs, dress, beddings and towels of those affected by scabies.
- Besides this infection can also affect those in schools, colleges, prisons and social clubs.
- It can also spread in a household.
Treatment Of Scabies :
- Once the scabies infection is found on the skin we must consult a doctor. The doctor will first examine the part of the skin affected by the infection.
- He will scrutinize for the presence of any mites or their eggs. If the mites or the eggs are not found the doctor will scrape the affected skin with a needle and examine it under a microscope. 3. After examination if the existence of mites are not zeroed, then the doctor will prescribe basic skin ointments to get rid off the rashes.
- If the presence of mites are confirmed then the doctor will prescribe certain chemical drugs, creams, lotions and ointments that have to be applied directly on the skin.
- They must be best applied at night when the mites are most active. Even if not affected it is suggested to avoid the ointment over the full body. It can be washed away the next morning.
- The medicines will normally include lindane lotion, permethrin cream, crotamiton cream, sulphur ointment and benzyl benzoate lotion.
- Some additional medicines like benadryl to control the itching, antibiotics to kill the mites and certain steroids to control the itching will also be suggested by the doctors.
- Some medicines are not suited to women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
- Even after the commencement of the treatment some people will not be able to control the infestation of the mites. In that case, an aggressive oral tablet called ivermectin is prescribed. It is best suited for the treatment of crusted scabies and the infestation of scabies all over the body.
- During the initial days of treatment the problem will likely to get worse but after the four weeks of treatment the problem will be eradicated completely. On the contrary if it is not eradicated completely it is better to confide with the doctor.
Prevention Of Scabies :
- The mites causing scabies can only live in the human skin and apart from them they do not live anywhere.
- They only last about two to three days after coming out of the contact of human body.
- So once they fall from the human body we must take care that they do not infect us again.
- We must wash everything that is naturally to be infected in a dryer in a temperature of 122 F.
- The following items like clothes, bedsheets, covers and others must be washed.
- Those that cannot be washed like pillows must be vacuumed.
- Once if we are done with vacuuming the vacuum bag must be thrown away and the vacuum pump must be thoroughly washed with bleach and hot water.