Scabies is caused by infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). This skin condition is a sexually transmitted disease STD, however children can pass it on to one another and to adults through everyday contact.
The human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis) which causes this disease burrows into the top layer of the skin where it lives and lay eggs. The eggs hatch in 21 days and produces an itchy rash as an allergic response.This microscopic mite can travel from an infected person to another person through close contact such as skin to skin contact. Less often, people may pick up the mites from furniture, bedding and clothes. This mite can survive for 48 to 72 hours without human contact.
Scabies is common in crowded facilities such as dormitories, prisons, nursing homes, and child care centers.
This infection can affect people of all races, ages and social classes.
It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks for symptoms to appear. Symptoms may appear within hours if it’s your second time or more of being infected with scabies. Symptoms include the following.
- itchiness – usually at night
- small bumps or rashes usually between the fingers, on the penis, around the belly button or on buttocks, breasts, wrists, and thighs.
- sores on the skin from scratching
- thin, pencil line marks on the skin
- thick crust on the skin
In babies the mites may be more widespread on the skin and result in small blisters on the palm and sole and pimples over the trunk.
In young children, infections may be on the shoulders, palm, neck, head and soles of feet.
In older adults the infection may be on the wrist, hand, genitals and abdomen.
TEST AND DIAGNOSIS
A dermatologist can diagnose scabies by thoroughly looking at your skin. He may scrap of a small bit of your skin and view under the microscope to check for scabies mites or eggs. A skin biopsy may also be done.
TEST AND DIAGNOSIS
Prescription medications such as Nix, Elimite, or Scabene may be used to treat scabies. It is essential to follow the directions that comes with the package. You may need to apply medication all over your body. Your sexual partners and the whole family should be treated even if they don’t have any symptoms.
You need to change clothing and bedding after you have applied medication.
Any infected clothing or bedding that may be infected should be washed thoroughly with very hot water or dry cleaned.
Vacuum the carpet and upholstered furniture.
NOTE : Products containing lindane may be harmful to the developing fetus if used by a pregnant woman. Consult your doctor first.
Scabies can lead to the skin disease called impetigo.
This infection easily spreads. You can reduce your risk by reducing the number of sexual partners you have. Avoid skin to skin contact with an infected person. If you have scabies. avoid sexual intercourse until you and your partner are completely treated.REFERENCES
Scabies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/scabies/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed December 30, 2013
Scabies. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000830.htm. Accessed December 30, 2013
Scabies: Diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/q—t/scabies/diagnosis-treatment. Accessed December 30, 2013
Scabies. Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex/scabies-4280.htm. Accessed December 30, 2013
The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved December 2013 from Dictionary.com website.http://dictionary.reference.com.