Scabies is a fairly common disease caused by a very tiny mite that lives in, or just below, the surface of human skin. Scabies spreads rapidly under crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people, such as in hospitals, institutions, child-care facilities, and nursing homes. Most scabies and human mite treatment products use Permethrins, which are known serious carcinogens and pesticides.
Dermatologists estimate that more than 300 million cases of scabies occur worldwide every year. A very small, hard to see, zigzag blister usually marks the trail of the insect as she lays her eggs. The burrows sometimes appear as short, wavy, reddish, or darkened lines on the skin’s surface, especially around the wrists and between the fingers.
The female scabies mite lays her eggs in burrows or channels just beneath the skin. When they’re fully grown, each mite is no bigger than the size of the point of a pin.
When you get scabies mites, the female mites dig under the top layer of your skin. The good news is that with better detection methods and treatments, scabies does not need to cause more than temporary distress. The mites themselves are too small to be seen without magnification. One of the great problems with scabies always has been misdiagnosis.
Malathion is one alternative for treatment failures. The importance of environmental measures to prevent infestation is a matter of controversy. Scabies is an ancient affliction, estimated to have infected humans for the last 2,500 years. Sulfur has been used (6 – 10% in lotion or cream) since Roman times as a scabicide, but you might be allergic.
Scabies like to burrow in the web spaces of the fingers, the creases of the wrists, the armpits, the ankles, the feet, the genitals, and the nipples. The pathognomonic lesions of scabies are comma-shaped or irregularly convoluted burrows.
Causes of Scabies
The common causes of Scabies include the following :
- Scabies is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Scabies mites are attracted to the warmth and smell of humans.
- Scabies usually is spread by close, intimate contact, such as sleeping in the same bed with or touching someone who has scabies.
- The infection spreads more easily in crowded conditions and in situations where there is a lot of close contact – like child-care centers or nursing homes.
- A mite burrows very quickly under the skin, especially in areas where it is rough or wrinkled, such as the elbows, knuckles, and knees. Touching or scratching an area that is infested with mites can spread them to other parts of the body.
- Scabies infestation results when the female mite burrows into the skin and lays its eggs.
- The symptoms of scabies are caused by an allergic reaction to the mites.
Symptoms of Scabies
Some sign and symptoms related to Scabies are as follows :
- The most common symptom of scabies is severe itching, which may be worse at night or after a hot bath.
- Thin, irregular marks made up of tiny blisters or bumps on your skin
- Abrasions of the skin from scratching and digging
- Thin, pencil-mark lines on the skin
- Blisters may break when your child scratches them. Skin may become thick, scaly, and have scratch marks.
- The mite’s burrows look like short, dark, wavy lines on the skin. These are usually found between the fingers and around the wrists.
- Appear crusty.
Treatment of Scabies
Here is list of the methods for treating Scabies :
- Scabies can only be cured with prescription creams or lotions. Nonprescription medications are not strong enough to kill the mites.
- Wash all clothing, towels, and bed linens in hot water. Do not allow air drying. You should use the dryer.
- In some cases, topical ointments are recommended.
- Use the medication as prescribed and instructed.
- Vacuum your rugs, furniture, and bedding and throw the vacuum cleaner bag away when finished.
- Many different anti-itch medications are available in the antihistamine class. The most common is diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
- Oral antihistamine medication (to help relieve itching).