Scabies is an itchy skin condition that is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, a tiny burrowing mite. People with scabies experience severe itching in the area where the mite burrows.
What do you mean by Scabies?
Scabies is an infection caused by tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabei. Scabies can cause itching and rashes on the part of the body where these mites burrow. The infection causes constant itching and an intense rash as the mites burrow and lay eggs inside the skin. At night, the desire to itch may get intense. Scabies is easily treatable if detected early enough. Scabies is a highly contagious infection and can get spread easily through:
- Physical touch
- Infected clothing and bedding
Although Scabies is easily treatable by medications, itching might continue till several days after treatment.
Because Scabies is very contagious, doctors advise that anybody who comes into touch with a Scabies-infected individual should receive treatment. If you are experiencing unusual itching or rashes on the skin, consult your doctor today.
What are the symptoms of Scabies?
Scabies symptoms may not be recognizable up to four to six weeks after the initial exposure to Scabies. Irregular, thin burrow tracks made up of tiny bumps or blisters on your skin are the characteristic of scabies and these tracks or burrows appear typically in folds of the skin. Although nearly all parts of the body may be involved, common areas are:
- Between the fingers
- In the armpits
- Around the waist
- Along the insides of the wrists
- On the inner elbows
- On the soles of the feet
- Around the breasts
- Around the male genital area
- On the buttocks
- On the knees
Other symptoms of Scabies are:
- Itching, especially at night
- Blisters and Sores caused by scratching
Children and the elderly are more prone to itching. Scabies can be mistaken for other skin diseases like acne or mosquito bites in the early stages because the rash appears similar. A persistent itch is a symptom of Scabies.
What Causes Scabies?
An infection of microscopic eight-legged mites causes Scabies. These bugs are so tiny that it’s impossible to see them with naked eyes. These mites will survive and feed by burrowing into the top layer of your skin. Female mites will produce eggs, increasing their population.
People can readily transfer these mites from one person to the next. The mites that cause scabies are sensitive to their surroundings; they can only survive for about 24-36 hours on a host body.
Individuals most at risk are :
- Sexually active adults
- Mothers of small children
- Those who live in nursing-home-assisted living communities, and long-term care institution as well as those in closed spaces like prisons .
When to see a doctor?
See a doctor today if you are noticing any of the symptoms mentioned above. Scabies is not a life-threatening disease but it can be intensely irritating and also contagious to others. A doctor can help to diagnose the exact cause and give you the right treatment .
Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals
Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment
Over-the-counter medication may give you temporary relief, but it won’t cure Scabies completely. Therefore, it is better to consult a doctor. Remember, the faster you seek treatment, the sooner you will recover and live a healthy life ahead. For any further consultation, feel free to talk to one of our specialists.
What are the Complications of scabies?
Vigorous scratching could break the skin and let a secondary bacterial infection like impetigo, to occur.
Crusted scabies, a more serious form of scabies, may affect some high-risk groups, like older people and people with chronic illnesses and low immunity .
How to prevent Scabies?
Scabies can occur to anyone of any age group. Prevention is better than cure. A few ways to prevent Scabies are:
- Avoid direct contact with the person infected by Scabies
- Bathe regularly
- Change your clothes if dirty
- Change your bedding often
If anyone at home gets infected with Scabies, get yourself examined .
- In most cases, Ointments, Creams, and lotions to be applied directly to the skin are given . In certain cases, oral medication can also be recommended by doctors.
- Some medications used are:
- Permethrin cream,
- Ivermectin for people with altered immune systems, for those with crusted scabies, or those who do not respond to prescription lotions and creams.
- Crotamiton (lotion
Before taking any treatments, ask about the pros and cons of each to decide what suits you the best. Also, after treatments post-scabies, itches can last a few days.
Scabies is a contagious disease caused by mite infestation underneath the skin where they lay eggs and reproduce. Although Scabies is not a life-threatening condition, it can be inconvenient and annoying. Contact your doctor today to know more about Scabies causes and treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- Can Scabies be spread through sexual contact?
Yes, as Scabies is a contagious disease, it can spread through sexual contact also. During sex, direct skin-to-skin touch increases the chances of transmitting Scabies.
- How to disinfect clothes, mattresses, and furniture if touched by Scabies-infected people?
Scabies mites cannot survive more than two to three days away from human skin. For further prevention, wash clothes or bedding with hot water and dry them in sunlight. Items like furniture that can’t be washed or dried can be decontaminated by keeping them away from people for at least 72 hours.
- Which body parts are most likely to get infected by Scabies?
The body parts likely to get infected by Scabies are:
- the area between the fingers