Scabies Infection, Causes and Treatment-gregoryhealthworld

scabies patient

          Scabies is a very contagious skin condition that is caused by a mite that is so small it can only be seen with a magnifying glass or under a microscope. The mite cannot live longer than three days without a human host, but it can survive up to a month when living on a human. The mite also lays eggs in human skin, which hatch and grow into adult mites. This means that symptoms of the condition can last four months or even years.
The rash caused by scabies is extremely itchy and is sometimes called the seven-year itch. The mite is spread from person to person by close contact, scabies affect everyone regardless of age, gender, race, social class or personal hygiene habits. However, it is most common among household members and sexual partners of affected individuals. Scabies is also common in congested areas such as; nursing homes and hospitals, poor immune systems etc.

            FACTS ON SCABIES
-While the scabies mite needs skin to feed and survive, it can live without a human host for 48 to 72 hours.

-The rash and itching experienced by those with scabies is a result of the body's allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs, and their waste.

-The average person infested with scabies will have 15 to 20 mites present.

-Those at highest risk of developing crusted scabies include the immunocompromised, the elderly, and those housed in institutional settings.

  Symptoms include severe and continuous itching, especially at night. An indication that you may have scabies is if other members of your household are experiencing the same symptoms.

What do scabies look like?
      The skin may show signs of small insect-type bites or the lesions may look like pimples. The skin may also be red and or have sores due to scratching of the area. Open scabs or sores are susceptible to infection with bacteria.
A burrow (a short S-shaped track that indicates the mite’s movement under the skin) may also be visible. The average affected person has only 15-20 mites on their body at a time, burrows may be small enough to be overlooked. Thus, scabies also should be considered whenever there is intense itching without an obvious rash, bite or burrow.
Scabies frequently occur in the crevasses of the body such as;

between the fingers and toes

the elbows

the waist area 

the genital area

under the breast in women





Infants and young children experience infestation in other areas of the body, including the:




palms of the hands

soles of the feet

At times, children can present with a widespread infestation, covering a majority of the body. Infants who are infested with scabies tend to exhibit symptoms of irritability, and sleeping and eating difficulties.

     Scabies is caused by an eight-legged mite (sarcoptes scabie var. hominis) that is less than 0.5mm long. The life cycle of the scabies mite starts when the female tunnels into the skin and deposit her eggs. Larvae hatch from the eggs within 3-10days and molt to become nymphs. Nymphs mature into adult that deposits additional eggs and live approximately four (4) weeks.
Burrowing of the mites cause intense itching due to a type of allergic reaction, if the person has never been exposed to scabies before, he/she may not show symptoms until 4-6 weeks after the initial infestation, Individuals who have been exposed in the past usually show symptoms within few days.

mode of transmission
How does one contract scabies     
      Scabies is almost always spread by protracted skin-to-skin contact with person who carries the mite. The mites often begin to burrow at the site where they enter the body. Thus, skin transmission during sexual intercourse results in an infestation in the groin area.
It is important to point out that scabies is not always a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and may be acquired through casual contact. Less commonly, scabies infestation can happen through sharing of clothes and bedding etc. theoretically, one can get scabies from touching something that the mite is on but that is not a major mode of transmission.

   Although you cannot cure a case of scabies without prescription medication from a doctor, there are certain things one can do at home to keep from re-infesting yourself or family.

- Wash all clothing, towels and bed linens that you have used in the last three days. Use hot water and ensure you use the dryer at high heat rather than air drying

- One can also treat itching with antihistamine medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), hydroxyzine (Atarax), cetrizine (Zyrtec) and promethazine (Phenergan)

- Cut your nails and clean under them thoroughly to remove any mites or eggs that maybe present. Thoroughly vacuum your rugs, furniture, bedding and car interior

- Try to avoid scratching and keep any open sores clean.
Scabies Infection, Causes and Treatment-gregoryhealthworld Scabies Infection, Causes and Treatment-gregoryhealthworld Reviewed by Gregory on February 18, 2018 Rating: 5

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