WHAT IS SCABIES?
Scabies is a highly contagious skin condition caused by a mite, known as the Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrows under the skin and produces small red bumps(looking like small pimples), causing severe itching.
People are more likely to get scabies are those who:
- live in crowded areas
- Infants and children
- Elderly - especially those living in nursing homes.
- Healthcare workers who nurse for people not aware of having scabies.
Intense scratching can lead to scratch marks, scab formation or a secondary infection like staphylococcus or beta- haemolyticus, through broken skin.
Direct skin-to-skin contact is the mode of transmission.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
- Severe itching, aggravated towards evening and night
- Itching is so severe that it can even lead to loss of sleep at night and there are scratch marks present all over the body.
- Multiple small bumps on skin, for over a period of months.
- Scabies may involve the webs between the fingers, wrists, back of the elbows, knees, around the waist and umbilicus, genital area and the buttocks.
It is caused by infestation of skin by a mite, sarcoptes scabiei. They lays their eggs and burrow into the skin to produce intense itching, which tends to be worse at night.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Most cases of scabies can be confirmed just by close examination of skin. No additional test is required to make the diagnosis.
Scabies is conventionally treated with a cream that contains a medicine called permethrin. The cream is applied all over the body from head to toe and left overnight before washing it off in the morning.
- Wash regular clothes and bedclothes in hot water as mites don't live for more than 74 hrs, away from the body.
- Avoid scratching as much as possible as it can lead to scab formation or a secondary infection.
- Avoid direct contact with those having scabies.
- Making sure family members and others in close contact with the infected person get checked for scabies.
Some of the common useful homeopathic medicines in case of scabies are: Carbo veg, ars album, hepar sulph, causticum, lycopodium etc.
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Wash clothes with hot water and expose them under sun for a long period of time.
- Get yourself and your family members checked by the doctor if suspected.
- Avoid any kind of direct contact with the affected person.
- Avoid scratching.