"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How to discover scabies – a contagious and uncomfortable skin condition attributable to mites.

Scabies is a skin condition characterised by a rash and intense itching. It is attributable to particles coming under the outer layer of the skin. The insects themselves are very small and can't be seen with the naked eye.

How do I do know if I even have scabies?

Since you may't see the mites, itchiness and itching are the principal features.

Itchy rash

Scabies often affects the next areas of skin: the hands, especially the flaky skin between the fingers; folds of skin on the wrists, knees, elbows, lower arms, back or buttocks; genitalia; Breast, especially the dark area across the nipple; and shoulder blades.

In adults and older children, the rash often looks like small red bumps that resemble small insect bites. In infants, the rash may appear as small fluid-filled blisters. In children under 2 years of age, the rash may spread to the neck, head, palms, and soles of the feet.

A close-up photo of the skin of a person with scabies, showing blisters filled with red blooms.

In some cases, an individual with scabies develops itchy skin nodules as a substitute of scabies. These nodules might be 5 mm (1/4-inch) wide. They are frequently found on skin that is roofed by clothing, comparable to on the trunk and upper legs.

Severe itching

Itching from scabies is usually worse at night. It can involve any a part of the skin, not only areas with rashes or nodules.

Scabies symptoms are a part of the immune system's response to the scabies parasite and its waste products. These reactions often take just a few weeks to develop in individuals who have never had scabies before. For this reason, individuals who have their first episode of scabies don't develop an itchy rash for 2 to 6 weeks after the mites first strike the skin. However, in individuals who have had previous episodes of scabies, hives and itching often begin inside one to 4 days.

Can scabies spread from one person to a different?

Scabies mites might be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or through the use of clothing, blankets, sheets, towels, or furniture which have touched the skin of an infected person. Scabies spreads easily during close physical contact during sexual intercourse.

Scabies can be spread from individual to individual in settings wherein people live in close quarters, including hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, day care centers, and houses. Anyone can get scabies, including doctors, nurses, teachers, young children, and elderly people in wheelchairs. Having a rash just isn't an indication that an individual is dirty, careless or sexually promiscuous.

When an individual has scabies, pregnant female bugs burrow into the skin and lay eggs along the best way. After three to eight days, the eggs hatch and the young mites travel through the tunnels to the surface of the skin. There they mature and mate, after which the females develop into pregnant and proceed to contaminate the skin. Mite tunnels could also be visible within the skin of an individual with scabies, although severe scratching often disfigures them.

Groups which are particularly liable to catching scabies include:

  • People who've multiple sexual partners.
  • One who lives in crowded conditions.
  • Patients and health care employees in hospitals
  • Residents and caregivers in nursing homes
  • Students, teachers and other caregivers in daycare centers
  • People who live or work in institutions or prisons.

Diagnosis of scabies

Scabies is a highly contagious disease that may spread to your members of the family and other individuals who have close physical contact with you. For this reason, it's best to not try and self-diagnose this condition. You have to get it checked out by knowledgeable.

After evaluating your symptoms and your risk aspects (sexual contact, crowded living conditions, high-risk work), your doctor will examine your skin. Often, the diagnosis is made based on skin findings and known exposure or possible exposure to the rash. The doctor looks for bumps and blisters between the fingers and toes. The doctor can also gently scrape the itchy area to search for mites or their eggs.

Treatment of scabies

Only prescription medications have been tested and approved to treat scabies in people. Topical permethrin cream applied to the skin is the standard first alternative for treatment. Permethrin is an anthelmintic – an insecticide that kills scabies mites and eggs. Other medications can be found, and your doctor may prescribe something apart from topical permethrin depending in your age, medical history, existing skin conditions, and whether you might be pregnant.

Anti-itch medications are frequently applied from the neck to the feet after bathing, left on the skin for eight to 14 hours, after which washed off. In some cases, you might need a second dose depending on the variety of medication you take and your symptoms.

Ivermectin is an oral medication that also effectively treats scabies. It is taken as an oral dose followed by a repeat dose two weeks later.

To control itching, easy topical agents comparable to calamine lotion might be applied. If the rash keeps you awake, your doctor may prescribe oral diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

All sexual partners, members of the family, and shut contacts of somebody with scabies must be treated, even in the event that they haven't any symptoms.

When will I get well from the rash?

With proper treatment, hives and severe itching often begin to subside inside one to 2 days, although some mild itching may persist for just a few weeks. In most cases, you stop being contagious inside 24 hours.

Without treatment, scabies can develop into a long-term infection that may spread to other people.

During the course of the disease, persistent scratching can result in chronic crusting of the skin, or painful secondary skin infections attributable to bacteria.

Prevention of itching

To help prevent itching:

  • Avoid sharing clothes and towels.
  • If your child goes to sleepover parties, provide sleeping bags, pillows and blankets from home.
  • If someone in your household is diagnosed with scabies, wash their clothes, bedding, and towels in hot water and dry this stuff in a hot dryer. This should kill all of the scabies mites and eggs. Clothing that can't be washed must be sealed and stored for about every week, as scabies mites die inside one to 4 days if not in touch with human skin.