Scabies is a contagious skin condition with severe itching due to the tiny burrowing mite specifically Sarcoptes scabies. It causes a severe itching where this mites burrows. Itchiness becomes severe at night. Scabies easily spread to other people through direct physical contact.
The itchiness of the skin is due to allergic reaction of the body to the mites and their eggs. Scabies can also be spread by sharing beddings or clothes with an infected person.
Symptoms of scabies
- Severe and intense itching especially at night.
- Narrow and irregular tracts of burrow with small bumps or blisters on the surface of the skin. They are usually found in the folds of skin such as in the armpits, between fingers, around the breast, around the waist, inner elbows, insides of the wrist, around the male genital area, shoulder blades, buttocks, knees and soles of the feet.
- In children, scabies can be found in the neck, face, scalp, soles of the feet and palms of the hand.
- Eradicate mite infestation using topical medication such as creams and lotion and applied to the affected areas of the body and keep it remain in the body for at least 8 hours.
- Use the prescribed medication that includes Permethrin 5% and Lindane. Avoid giving Lindane for children below 2 years of age, pregnant and nursing women and people with weak immune system. These medications eliminate mites but can still experience itchiness for many weeks after the treatment.
- Severe scabies infestation, take the prescribed oral medication such ivermectin.
- Apply cool compress on the affected area to lessen itchiness and inflammation. Another alternative is soaking the body in cool water to relieve the itchiness.
- Use the prescribed over-the-counter comforting lotion such as calamine lotion to lessen the itchiness of the area. Take the prescribed antihistamine to relieve the allergy symptoms due to scabies.
- Apply Tiger balm which is a topical cream that lessen the inflammation and gives relief from the muscle aches and the pain. It functions as an analgesic because it has camphor and clove oil.
- Wash contaminated clothing, towels and bed linens that has been used for at least 3 days using hot water. Then dry them in the dryer at high heat setting. Dry cleaning can also eliminate the mites.
- Cut nails and clean under them properly to remove mites and eggs that may be present.
- Avoid scratching the affected area to prevent making the condition worse, and keep the open sores clean.
- Shampoo hair regularly.
- Avoid being stressed to prevent the severity of itchiness which result to scratching and cause skin infections. Perform some relaxation techniques such as yoga or taking a long walk.
- Maintain a healthy diet.