Hello #Stemsocial platform! It's a new day and a time to talk about health and the importance of checking out health status on a regular basis. Have your body ever itched you in public and you found yourself being disgraced by such itching. Solve that problem before it further disgrace you. Good morning!
Most people have itchy skin and couldn't trace the actual cause of the itching. Itching can be caused by several ailments, so today's post will focus on scabies, the causes, symptoms and treatments. Just stay tuned as we look at this discomforting health challenge that affects both children and adults.
What is Scabies?
Scabies is an itchy skin rash caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. Intense itching occurs in the area where the mite burrows. The need to scratch may be stronger at night.
Scabies is contagious and can spread quickly through close person-to-person contact in a family, child care group, school class, nursing home or prison. Because scabies spreads so easily, health care providers often recommend treating the entire family or any close contacts.
Scabies isn't a respecter of persons because of it's contagion effects and at it's extreme situation it could lead to swollen skin and constant crying and weeping for both children and adults. It'll be pertinent at this point to look into the causes of scabies.
Causes of Scabies
Scabies is caused by a tiny, eight-legged mite. The female mite burrows just under the skin and makes a tunnel where it lays eggs.
The eggs hatch, and the mite larvae travel to the surface of the skin, where they mature. These mites can then spread to other areas of the skin or to the skin of other people. Itching is caused by the body's allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs and their waste.
Close skin-to-skin contact and, less often, sharing clothing or bedding with a person who has scabies can spread the mites.
It should be noted that pets don't spread animal scabies to humans because the mites that are found in the bodies of animals can't survive long on human skin. It only causes temporary itching and after awhile it'll stop. Have this at the back of your mind.
Signs and Symptoms of Scabies
The symptoms of scabies isn't visible at the initial stage of the infection. It takes 2-5 weeks before you can see the symptoms.
The hallmark symptoms of scabies include a rash and intense itching that gets worse at night. Continuous scratching of the infected area can create sores that become infected.
Scratching too much can break your skin and cause an infection, such as impetigo. Impetigo is an infection on the skin's surface that's caused most often by staph bacteria (staphylococci) or sometimes by strep bacteria (streptococci).
Crusted scabies makes the skin crusty and scaly, and affects large areas of the body. It's very contagious and can be hard to treat. Quick treatment with both a prescription pill and a skin cream is needed.
It's usually said where I come from that prevention is better than cure and of a truth this works perfectly. The preventive measures include:
- Wash clothes and linen regularly. It's preferably to wash clothes and linen with hot water. This is because the mites and eggs of scabies mites can't survive heat.
- Starve the mites. Once the mites doesn't see what to feed on, they'll die. To do this put clothes in a plastic and takes them away from where they'll get contact with other clothes and leave them there for weeks. The mites dies after few days without anything to feed on.
Permethrin cream (Elimite) is the most commonly prescribed. Crotamiton lotion, crotamiton cream (Eurax, Crotan), sulfur ointment, or Lindane lotion may also be considered, depending on the needs of the patient. These are applied to the entire body, from the neck down, on clean, dry skin and left on for about 8 to 14 hours before being washed off. You usually need to repeat this process a week after the first treatment to get rid of any newly hatched mites.