Scabies symptoms are the most common skin infection that affects humans. It is caused by the mite Schistosomum coccineus. Its name comes from the Latin word “scabium” which means scab or scar.
The mites live in human body under the hair follicles. They feed on dead skin cells and shed their skins every few days. When they die, it becomes a new mite population. The mites have no sense of smell and cannot fly away.
They stay in your skin for life.
The most common place to find them is in between the fingers, genital organs, and the area around the belly button. It can also be found in armpits or the bend of the arm. The most common symptoms of scabies are:
Itching. This is the main symptom of scabies. The patient experiences extreme itching in the skin especially on the hands, fingers, and feet.
Red dots and blisters on the skin. They look like pimples that are filled with fluid. They become itchy in the following days. As the infection worsens, the skin becomes rough and dry.
The patient experiences difficulty while sleeping at night due to the severe itching.
Where do you get scabies?
The mites are transferred from one person to another. It can be contracted by direct skin-to-skin contact. This can happen through sexual activity, or by holding hands with an infected person.
Babies and the elderly are more prone to suffer from scabies. This is because babies can develop a severe allergic reaction to the mites. It can be deadly in some cases.
The elderly and people with a weak immune system are more prone to suffer from scabies. This is due to a severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. It can result in death by opening up the blood vessels and causing internal bleeding.
The exact way the mites are spread is not known. This is because they do not have wings or a stinger. They cannot burrow into the skin. It is believed that they are transferred from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact.
How do you know if you have scabies?
The most prominent scabies symptom is itching. This is caused by an allergic reaction to the mite’s feces and saliva. The itching becomes worse at night or when the skin is warm and moist.
The red dots that turn into blisters are a scabies symptom. These itchy little bumps can be found anywhere on your body. Sometimes, they are hard to find because they are covered by clothes.
If you have had sexual contact with an infected person, it is possible that you may have scabies in the pubic area. Scabies can also be found near the armpits or the bend of the arm.
If you notice that someone in your household has scabies, it is important to treat everyone simultaneously. This is to prevent the mites from spreading from one person to another.
How do you get rid of scabies?
Scabies is contagious and can be spread easily. It is important that everyone in the household is treated at the same time. You also need to make sure that no one in the household gets infected again.
The treatment for scabies is very simple. There are prescription and over the counter medications that can clear up an infestation of scabies. The most common medication for scabies is permethrin. This is a topical cream that you apply to the skin.
It should not be used in children younger than 2, or people who are allergic to it.
Other medications that can treat scabies are Lindane and ivermectin. It is important to follow all the treatment instructions for scabies to prevent reinfestation.
If you have scabies, you will need to wash all of your clothing, bedding, and towels in hot water. Make sure to dry them completely as well. This is to make sure that you get rid of any mites or their eggs.
What can you do to prevent getting scabies?
It is important to take proper care of any skin abnormalities. This is to stop scabies before it gets out of control. If you notice any broken skin on your body, make sure to keep it clean and covered. You can cover it with bandages or waterproof plaster. Talk to your doctor if the skin abnormality doesn’t go away with treatment.
If you notice any of the scabies symptoms, it is very important to seek medical treatment right away. This can prevent an infestation from getting worse. It is also important not to share any items that come in contact with your skin with other people. This includes towels, bedding, clothing, and personal care items.
If you do come in contact with someone who has scabies, it is important to watch for symptoms. These can show up within a few weeks, or even as long as a year later. It is also important to talk to your doctor about any sexual partners you may have had within the last six months. They need to be tested as well since scabies is considered to be sexually transmitted.
It is also important to clean and disinfect any areas that may have been exposed. This can lower your chances of getting reinfested.
Sources & references used in this article:
- The development of symptoms, parasitic infection and immunity in human scabies (K Mellanby – Parasitology, 1944 – cambridge.org)
- Scabies (J Heukelbach, H Feldmeier – The Lancet, 2006 – Elsevier)
- Scabies in 1976 (K Mellanby – Royal Society of Health Journal, 1977 – journals.sagepub.com)
- Scabies: diagnosis and treatment (G Johnston, M Sladden – Bmj, 2005 – bmj.com)