Updated: 2019, Aug 1

Scabies Overview – Everything You Need To Know About Scabies

Scabies

Scabies is an infestation of the skin caused by a mite named Sarcoptesscabiei, a mite which is so tiny yet creates such a huge mess. Let’s say they get comfortable on your skin, set there, reproduce and lay eggs as well. These mites can live on your skin for about two months, now that’s terrible! Scabies causes your skin to irritate and creates those pink pimples on the surface of your skin which form a very itchy skin rash.

How surprised would you be to learn that about 300 millions of people around the world get scabies each year? This probably comes from the fact that it is overly contagious. Being prepared and knowing more can actually help you in the future, you never know for sure what is going to happen? Of course I wish it to no one, but have a read down, it doesn’t hurt!

Symptoms

First you should know that these little creatures can live for a few weeks without giving much signs, and the symptoms come a bit later. However, when they appear it’s usually these. A notable rash and a lot of itching, especially during night time. As it becomes unbearable the skin can actually get quite sore after scratching continuously.
As we mentioned above, small pimples might appear on the skin, besides these there might be thin lines with a different color or slightly up from the surface. These lines are actually the burrows which mites create and live under.

For little babies and children, the most affected areas include:

  • Head
  • Face
  • Necks
  • Hands
  • Soles of feet

For grown kids and adults, the most affected areas include:

  • Wrist
  • Armpit
  • Elbow
  • Nipple
  • Penis
  • Waist
  • Buttocks
  • Between the fingers

Crusted Scabies

Crusted Scabies

This is another type of scabies, known as a more serious. It causes gray crusts on the skin which are quite dense and crumble when touched. This mainly occurs on people with HIV or AIDS, people taking certain medications and steroids, etc. Therefore, people which have a weakened immune system as mites can multiply at a greater rate in this environment.

How it can spread?

Now this is quite important, as it is one of the reasons why it affects so many people. Scabies can be transferred easily through physical contact such as a hand shake, a hug, or sexual relations. It can also be passed through items like clothes, sheets, towels and furniture.

They usually develop in crowded places with a poor hygiene, however sometimes the conditions aren’t these and they still appear. The most common places are kindergartens and schools, nursing homes, prisons, etc. I believe you get the idea!

Diagnosis

This is also a tough part, as it can sometimes be confused with other conditions of the skin and not getting the right treatment is always a problem. You should visit a doctor if you find yourself in doubt. The doctor might find out immediately just by an examination, or he might need to take a small part of the skin and use a microscope to confirm their presence or absence.

Treatment Methods

Considering how annoying and painful scabies can get, it is good news to find out there is treatment. Especially considering some new studies being made, such as this which suggest that beside the obvious consequences that scabies bring, they can influence our health in other ways as well.

Dermatologists suggest the usage of these creams/lotions to help get rid of this infection.

  • 5 % permethrin cream
  • 25 % benzyl benzoate lotion
  • 10 % sulfur ointment
  • 10 % crotamiton cream
  • 1 % lindane lotion

Patients can also be recommended to take other medications to calm the itching and rash of the skin.

Read AlsoWorld Hand Hygiene Day

Conclusion

Anyone who has suffered from this condition recognizes the frustration and annoyance that come with it. The worst part is probably not being aware of it as the symptoms might appear few weeks after they find shelter in your skin. However, if you ever find your skin in a huge rash and itchier than ever, go and visit a doctor to make sure of what is happening.

Even if the answer is yes, try to stay positive as there are many lotions which will help you get rid of them. Just keep in mind that after the treatment you also need to take care of your clothes, sheets, and other personal items by washing them in a high temperature. There is really no way you can prevent scabies fully, the only thing you can do is take care of your hygiene and hope that you won’t be faced with such a situation.

Author

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandri

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