What is scabies you may ask? In simplest terms, this is a skin infection in which small insects, or mites, are found living under a person’s skin. However gross that might be, the infection is not related to personal hygiene so that means anyone can get it.
You won’t be able to see the mites since the insects are so small they’re not visible. One way to see the mites is if you notice silver lines across the surface of your skin where the mites burrowed and laid their larva.
These little insects are also extremely contagious, being able to spread from not only touching someone in their infected area, but also by touching their clothing, towels or bedding. Once someone in the house contracts it, usually its not long before the entire house has it too.
Spotting the signs of this condition is the first step to getting rid of the infection. Skin becomes very itchy and even more so at night. Scratching too much can result in crusty sores on this skin’s surface.
You can catch scabies anywhere on your body, but areas between your fingers and toes or around your wrists and genitals are the most common places for infection to occur. Kids can also develop a rash in between their neck and head.
An even more intense variation of this infection is found within individuals with weaker immune systems and is not only more contagious but also harder to treat. Norwegian scabies, or crusted scabies, covers a larger infection area and causes the infected surface skin to look scaly and crusty. The infection is far more severe than the normal condition and may cause secondary infections, such as bacterial infections, which need to be treated simultaneously. Generally, Norwegian scabies are found mostly within the elderly or newborns.
When doctors are diagnosing this skin condition, they often can do so by checking your skin and enquiring about symptoms you may be having. Another way they may check is by scraping a section of skin onto a glass slide and inspecting it under a microscope.
Although this ailment can be cured, a contaminated individual must take it upon himself or herself to seek treatment. If diagnosed with the skin infection, a physician will most likely prescribe a medicated lotion that will kill any mites and their larva. Both the doctor and a pharmacist can show instructions on best treatment results. People who have come into contact with the infected individual, such as housemates and sexual partners, will also have to take the treatment.
Doctors on average prescribe permethrin 5% dermal cream for treatment. The lotion is a basic dermatological cream with an added insecticide. For individuals allergic to permethrin, other alternatives are available.
Some people remain itchy for up to three weeks after the treatment, even once all the mites have been killed. This is not a sign that the mites are still present, instead it is likely to be a prolonged reaction within the skin from this mite. If the itch is too unbearable, creams can be bought to relieve this.