All You Need to Know About Scabies
Scabies is not a virus, but it’s a disease that is worldspread and affect people of all ages and races without exception. Actually, scabies is a parasitic skin disease, characterized by intense nocturnal itching, scratching and the formation of itch on the skin. Scabies are caused by the tick Sarcoptes scabiei. Most often you can get it after close contact with infected person.
What Are the Reason for Scabies and How it Is Contracted?
Scabies are caused by female scabies mites. They reach 0.3-0.4 mm at length and live for about 1 month. Getting on the human skin, they make “tunnels” under the epidermis stratum corneum and also they lay 2-3 eggs a day. New-born larvaes in 2-3 weeks turn into sexually mature individuals.
Scabies are transmitted only from person to person. Most often, infection occurs with close contact with infected person. Unsanitary conditions and promiscuous sex life enlarge the risks. In rare cases, it is possible to transfer through household items (bed linen, towels, washcloth, etc.). Among children infection can be transmitted through toys.
Take a note that scabies mites cannot fly or jump, all they can do is crawl, so the physical contact between people should be extended. There is a possibility that holding or shaking hands can transmit scabies but usually hug or a quick handshake is not a reason for it.
What Are the Symptoms of Scabies?
Scabies can be suspected when you feel intense skin itch, especially at night or after a hot shower and a specific rash. On the skin, you can also find itchy strokes that look like thin strips 3-15 mm long with a small “bubble” at the end.
Scabies are located on the parts of the body with thin skin: wrists, extensor surface of the forearms, lbows, the lateral surfaces of the body, interdigital skin, skin under the mammary glands, genitalia.
Young children have a different localization of scabies, usually it affects the inner edges of the feet, soles, palms, buttocks, face and scalp.
The reason of Itching is an allergic reaction to the tick’s excrement. Combing the skin, patients often add bacterial infection on the inflamed skin and as a result, scabies can be complicated by various pustular infections.
What Tests Can be Done to Discover Scabies?
For an experienced doctor it is not a problem to diagnose scabies according to the symptoms, but in some cases a microscopic examination is required. In that case a drop of vaseline oil applied to the itching area, after that doctor makes a scraping. At microscopy mites themselves are discovered as well as their excrement or eggs. If scabies are found among one of the family members, the rest are also should make tests for scabies.
How Can I Cure Scabies?
For the treatment doctors use ointments that contain permethrin, lindane, crotamiton, benzyl benzoate, sulfur, etc. Before rubbing the anti-scratch agent, patients are advised to take a hot shower, which facilitates the mechanical removal of ticks from the skin and loosening of the stratum corneum.
Note: If you have pustular disease hot shower is not recommended!
Anti-scratch drugs are rubbed into the skin especially into the places of scabies localization.
You also will have to change cloths and bed linen after applying the lotion, those clothing that could be infected with mites should be dry-cleaned.
Don’t forget about your family-members as they usually have close skin-to-skin contact with you and also may be infected.
What You Can Do On Your Own?
First of all we recommend to combine medical treatment and ethnoscience.
Thing you can do to feel better:
- Soak the infested area in cool water for about 10 minutes, dry it using a clean towel, apply prescribed ointment.
- You can use tea tree and neem oil for infected part of your body.
- Some people use hydrogen peroxide or even a bleach (which is doubtful).
- Use food for making it better – olive oil with lemon or apple cider vinegar.
What If Scabies Would Not Be Treated?
It is strange, but scabies can influence on normal sleep as ticks activity increases at night, later it leads to insomnia.
Also due to the presence of scabies other skin diseases, such as pyoderma in the form of ecthyma, furuncle, dermatitis, etc., may appear. Besides, regular scabies without treatment can turn into crusted scabies – which is thousands of mites infest all parts of the body.
Most Frequently Asked Question About Scabies
Question: How can I get rid of scabies fast?
Answer: You can’t get rid of them of one day, that will take time anyway. Usually treatment course takes 4 weeks. During the first week itching and rash can even worsen, but the closer to and – the better you will feel.
Question: Is scabies contagious?
Answer: We described infection process above, but will repeat once again. Yes, scabies is a contagious STD. Mites can crawl from one person to another. You can simply holding hand with infected person for several minutes and get this disease. Also sharing clothes and bed with infected person can be a reason.
Question: Why do you call scabies and STD?
Answer: As it is transferred from person to person during the physical contact – sex is really a reason. Please, remember that in case of having scabies, both partners should undergo the same treatment.