Understanding Scabies

Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny burrowing mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. This skin condition is characterized by superficial burrows found in the skin accompanied by intense itching. Scabies can be contagious and may easily spread through close personal contact with an infected person. Treating scabies involves killing the mite that causes it and would usually cover the whole household and people who may have come into contact with the infected person due to its highly contagious nature.

Scabies Cause

Scabies is caused by a microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The female mite burrows into the human skin in order to deposit its eggs. After 21 days, the eggs hatch and the new mites work their way out of the burrow and spread into different parts of the body as well as to the skin of other people. The intense itching that occurs is the result of the body’s allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs as well as their waste.

Scabies Symptoms

Common symptoms associated with scabies include having tiny burrow tracks on the skin that may be accompanied by blisters and tiny bumps. The burrows usually appear on the folds of the skin such as in between fingers, armpits, inner elbows, soles of the feet and many others. In children, common areas of infestation include the scalp, face, neck, the palm of the hands and the soles of the feet. Scabies is also known for the intense itching that usually gets worse at night.

Scabies Treatment

Treatment for scabies involves mainly trying to eliminate the mite infestation using certain medications. The usual drugs being used to kill the mites include permethrin and crotamiton. They are usually applied as a cream or lotion covering all parts of the body from the neck down and made to stay for at least eight hours. Although the medication may kill the mites quickly, the itching doesn’t go away immediately and may stay for several weeks more. There are also oral medications being given for people with scabies who also may have impaired or weakened immune systems.


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