Scabies


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What is scabies?

  • A contagious, intensely itchy skin condition caused by a tiny, burrowing mite.

  • Scabies is contagious and spreads quickly through close physical contact in a family, school, or nursing home.

  • The most common symptom of scabies is intense itching in the area where the mites burrow.

  • Scabies can be treated by killing the mites and their eggs with medication that's applied from the neck down and left on for eight hours. The mites can also be killed using oral medications.

  • Scabies is not an infection, but an infestation. Tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei set up shop in the outer layers of human skin. The skin does not take kindly to the invasion. As the mites burrow and lay eggs inside the skin, the infestation leads to relentless itching and an angry rash.

                                                      

Scabies Symptoms

When a person is infested with scabies for the first time, it can take four to six weeks for the skin to react. The most common symptoms are:

  • Intense itching, especially at night
  • A pimple-like rash
  • Scales or blisters
  • Sores caused by scratching


                                                   


Scabies or Something Else?


In its early stages, scabies may be mistaken for other skin conditions because the rash looks similar. This image compares acne, mosquito bites, and scabies. What sets scabies apart is the relentless itch. Itching is usually most severe in children and the elderly.


                                                       


Scabies Burrows

Another hallmark of scabies is the appearance of track-like burrows in the skin. These raised lines are usually grayish-white or skin-colored. They are created when female mites tunnel just under the surface of the skin. After creating a burrow, each female lays 10 to 25 eggs inside.

                                                        


Where Do Scabies Mites Live?

Scabies mites can live anywhere on the body, but some of their favorite spots include:

  • Between the fingers
  • The folds of the wrist, elbow, or knee
  • Around the waistline and navel
  • On the breasts or genitals
  • The head, neck, face, palms, and soles in very young children


                                                     How To Get Rid of Scabies On Mattress and Pillows? | Memory Foam Talk


How Does Scabies Spread?

Scabies typically spreads through prolonged, skin-to-skin contact that gives the mites time to crawl from one person to another. Shared personal items, such as bedding or towels, may occasionally be to blame. Scabies can be passed easily between family members or sexual partners. It is not likely to spread through a quick handshake or hug. The scabies mite can’t jump or fly, and it crawls very slowly.

                                                      Scabies: Causes and Risk Factors


Who Gets Scabies?

Anyone can get scabies, but those at higher risk include:

  • Sexually active adults
  • Prison inmates
  • People in institutional care
  • People living in crowded conditions
  • People in child care facilities


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Treating Scabies: IVERMECTIN

Oral Ivermectin pills are the treatment of choice. Pregnant women and babies may require a modified treatment (topical cream).

IMPORTANT

All of the affected persons must be treated at the same time.

INFO

It is possible for a person to be infected with scabies without showing symptoms, and unwittingly infect others. This is why it is important to treat all persons concerned, so as to eliminate the risk of scabies returning.

INFO

Keep your nails trimmed short. This will prevent skin damage due to scratching, and keep mites from nesting under the nails.

Day 1

  • Take the Ivermectin as prescribed. Normally this will be in a single dose, preferably taken with your evening meal with a glass of water.
  • For children, the pill may be crushed.
  • The next morning, or after at least eight hours, take a shower,
  • washing your entire body with soap.
  • Use only clean, uncontaminated towels and clothes.

Day 14

Take a second dose of Ivermectin and repeat the decontamination of your personal effects (see instructions below).

What to watch for

If any of the other persons who come into contact with an infected person start to experience itchiness within three weeks of the time you start the treatment, they should consult a dermatologist. Note that even if you are performing the treatment correctly, rashes and itching may persist for several days, or even up to three weeks (irritation induced by the medication). If the itching persists beyond four weeks, consult your doctor.

Decontamination

How to decontaminate

Decontamination should be done eight hours after taking Ivermectin (after each dose). Wear gloves while doing it.