What Is Scabies

Scabies is a skin disease caused by an itch mite. The disease is accompanied by severe itching and irritation, redness and rushes. The disease progresses due to infection with this mite and its spread in the corneal layer. The disease is contagious: infection with scabies occurs when you contact with an infected person or when using his orher personal items, such as a towel, clothes, etc.

As a result of the research, it was recorded that about 300 million people suffer from this disease every year. The adult females of this parasite can reach thirty millimeters in length, they live about thirty or thirty-one days. The mites, as a result of being under the human skin, make tunnels in it and lay eggs there. Then the offspring appears from the eggs, which after fourteen days is already fully grown and goes outside, where the process of reproduction takes place. Next, the fertilized female returns back under the skin or finds goes to another person’s skin.

Ways Of Infection

Skin to skin contact is the most frequent way of transmission of scabies. Especially during sexual intercourse because the contact is long in this case and mites have more opportunity to pass to another person’s skin. Therefore this way of infection is so common among the adults.

There is also a way of infecting children when they are not isolated from adults during sleep, because itch mites are most active in the evenings and at nights.

Scabies can also be transmitted through household items (dishes, towels, linens, soft toys, stationery, sports equipment).

Incubation Period

It is difficult to determine the incubation period of scabies. This is the time period from the moment of penetration of the mite into the skin and the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease. If a person is infected with an adult mite, the incubation period of scabies can last only a few hours, as the female mite instantly lay the passages and eggs in skin. In this case, signs of scabies appear very quickly.

If a person has become infected with mite larvae, the incubation period can reach two weeks – during this time the larvae will grow up. On average, the incubation period of scabies lasts from eight to twelve days.

Symptoms of Scabies

Scabies can be suspected when there is a combination of intense skin itch, intensifying at night or after a hot shower and a specific rash. On the skin, you can find itchy tunnels of 3-15 mm long with small bubbles at the end. Typically, the following areas with thin skin are affected: the flexion surface of the wrist joints, the extensor surface of the forearms, the elbow joint, the webs of fingers, the skin under the mammary glands, the external genitalia. In children, scabies has a different localization: it affects the inner edges of the feet, plantae, buttocks, face and scalp.
Itching is caused by an allergic reaction to the mites’ excrement. Scratching the skin, patients often enter an additional bacterial infection on the inflamed skin. As a result, scabies can be complicated by various pustular infections

Diagnostics of Scabies

Diagnosis is based on a clinical picture (itching, which intensifies in the evenings and at nights, the specific character of the localization of the rashes). If possible, the diagnosis should be confirmed by the identification of itch tunnels and the mites themselves An experienced doctor can make a correct diagnosis, based only on the symptoms of the disease, but in some cases a microscopic examination is required to clarify the diagnosis. To do this, a drop of vaseline oil is applied to the skin in the itch area, and then scraping is made. At microscopy the doctor discovers the mites themselves, their excrement or eggs.

If scabies are found in one of the family members, it is recommended to examine all the other ones.

Treatment of Scabies

The treatment of patients is aimed at fighting the mites. The treatment should be effective against both mites and larvae. To eliminate mites and larvae, it is enough to locally treat the skin with sulfuric ointment, lysol solution, pure tar, ethylene glycol, benzyl benzoate, crotamiton, spregal or permethrin. Regardless of the means chosen, general principles should be observed. Skin treatment scheme according to the doctor’s prescription should be strictly adhered. It is necessary to treat the entire surface of the body, except the head. Particular attention should be paid to the webs of fingers, arms, legs, armpits, and perineum. The agent is applied with a thin layer. Treatment should be carried out in the evening.

To eliminate the secondary infection, antiseptics are used. Before rubbing the anti-scratch agent, the patient is advised to take a hot shower, which facilitates the mechanical removal of mites from the surface of the skin. In the presence of pustular diseases of the skin, taking shower is not recommended.

Itching may persist for several weeks after the full treatment of scabies, which confirms the allergic nature of the itch.

The control of the cure should be carried out on the third and tenth day after the end of treatment. The disappearance (reduction) of itching and rashes, normalization of sleep are the criteria of recovery.

If Scabies Is Not Treated

Scabies never goes away without treatment. To heal a patient with scabies, it is sufficient to destroy the mites and their eggs, which is easily achieved by the use of local remedies. Do not self-medicate and do not use folk remedies. Currently, a number of effective drugs have been developed to fight this disease. Consult the dermatologist, who will prescribe the adequate treatment.

In addition, you should know that during the treatment of scabies it is important to carry out the most complete disinfection of your home with special means. All the patient’s clothes, bedding, towels children’s toys shall be washed in hot water or subjected to boiling. Mattress, blankets and other things that can not be washed, shall be disinfected in a disinfection room, ironed with a hot iron and rooms should be air-ventilated for 5-7 days.

Scabies FAQ

How to get rid of scabies fast?
If you have symptoms of scabies, you should immediately consult a dermatologist. You must not leave such a phenomenon as persistent itching, without attention. The faster you are examined and the correct diagnosis is made, the more effective the treatment is and the sooner you will recover from the disease.

Everyone who lives under one roof is also subject to treatment, even if they have no symptoms of the disease. It is important not to get infected again after finishing the course of treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a complete disinfection of the patient’s housing and belongings. Your sexual partner should also be checked and treated.

Is scabies an STD?
Scabies is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic mites. It is transmitted during sexual intercourse and when sharing the bed linen or clothes with infected person so this disease can be considered one of the STDs. You should hold off on having sex and other forms of skin to skin contacts until the complete recovery.