Scabies is an itchy skin infestation caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes Scabiei.
If not treated these very tiny, only visible under microscope mites can survive on the skin for months, laying eggs and reproducing on the surface of the skin.
Scabies is a highly contagious skin condition that requires immediate medical attention. It transmits through contact, sharing clothes and bedding.
Symptoms of Scabies:
The symptoms of scabies can take up to six weeks to show up after initial exposure. It starts with intense itching and rash and symptoms worsen at nights. Continuous scratching can cause sores that can be treated only with the help of antibiotics.
Scabies can affect both children and adults, in the body parts like wrist, elbow, armpit, nipples, penis, between fingers, buttocks and around the waist.
Children and adults with lower immunity levels suffer from scabies on head, neck, face, hands and even on feet.
Another severe form of scabies is known as Norwegian scabies or crusted scabies in which the infection develops into thick crusts on the skin containing thousands of mites and eggs. The thick crust scabies appears grey and easy to crumble to touch.
Patients suffering from HIV, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis are high at the risk of suffering from crusted scabies.
The infection can be easily transmitted to family members, colleagues, friends by sharing clothes, bedding, skin-to-skin contact and sexual intercourse.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
Scabies is diagnosed by through simple physical examination or by scraping off a small section of tissue from the skin for sample. If doctor finds the presence of mites causing infections, the treatment regimen includes ointments, creams and lotions to be applied on the affected area, especially at nights when the mites are active. It may take a week’s time for the scabies to disappear completely.