Scabies is an itchy skin infestation caused by an itch bite Sarcoptes scabiei. Scabies is highly contagious and transmitted by skin- to skin contact especially the closed one In young adults, sexual contact can be the most common form of transmission. Shaking hands, sitting together, are not responsible behind the scabies. It is hard to transfer scabies by just shaking hands or even sharing bedclothes that had mites in them the night before.Over the time,family members, close friends and relatives can contract it this way, too. Your child can not get scabies from school as school settings typically do not provide prolonged personal contact.
Scabies mites are very sensitive to their environment. They can only live off of a host body for 24-36 hours under most conditions.
Signs and Symptoms of Scabies
- The severe itch without any relief is the main symptom of scabies. The itch is typically worse at night. For the first weeks, the itch is subtle. It then gradually becomes more intense until, after a month or two, sleep becomes almost impossible due to the intensely itchy skin.
- Skin rash composed of small red bumps and blisters that affects specific areas of the body.
- The itchy skin leads to frequent scratching, which may predispose the skin to secondary infections.
- The bumps may contain blood crusts. It is helpful to know that not every bump is a bug. In most cases of scabies , there are not more than 10-15 live mites even if there are hundreds of bumps and pimples on the skin.
Where Do Scabies Mites Live?
- Scabies can be find between the fingers, armpit, around the waist and umbilicus,along the wrists and the backs of the elbows, the knees, the axillary folds, the areas around the nipples, the sides and backs of the feet, the genital area, and the buttocks.
What Are The Complications Of Scabies?
Vigorous scratching may tear your skin and allow bacteria to grow and cause secondary bacterial infection such as impetigo. Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin caused most by staphylococci or strep bacteria.
Norwegian scabies, tends to make skin crusty and scaly, hence known as crusted scabies. They affect large areas of the body. It’s very contagious and can be hard to treat.
What Are The Treatment for Scabies?
Scabies is treated by numerous methods.
As we all know prevention is better than cure. To prevent re-infestation and prevent the mites from spreading to other places, take these steps:
- Clean all clothes and linen. Use hot water to wash all clothing, towels and bed sheets used within 3 days before beginning treatment. Dry with high heat or in sun.
- Starve the bugs. Pack items that you can not wash in a sealed plastic bag and leaving it in an out-of-the-way location, such as in your store room, for a or two months. Mites will eventually die after a few days without food.