Scabies is caused by a tiny mite that infests the skin and is spread by being in close contact with someone else. An infested skin will itch very much. It is said to be the itchiest thing you can suffer. The itching will keep you out of sleep and drive to your wits’ end.
A tiny mite is a really tiny insect that can burrow into the skin, very often through your hands, and spread throughout your body. This tiny mite can crawl everywhere, starting with the hands and then anywhere you touch. It can also focus on the belly button or groin.
The symptoms of scabies:
- Itching; is the main symptom when you are infected with scabies. The itching can be very severe and will start in one place and then spread. The itching gets worse at night and when your skin gets hot, like after a hot bath. You can itch everywhere, even where there are no mites present.
- Mite tunnels; might be noticed on the skin as dark or silvery, fine lines. You might not notice these until a rash or itching develops.
- Rash; usually appears just after the start of the itch. It is a typical lumpy, blotchy, reddish rash that might appear anywhere on the body.
- Scratching; can cause skin damage which can then becomes infected with other bacteria. The skin will become red, hot, inflamed and tender to the touch.
How do you treat scabies?
Treatment should include everybody in a household where an infected person resides. All household members, sleeping partners, and close contacts should be treated. Even when there are no symptoms, everybody should be treated at the same time.
Scabies can be cured. Usually, an insecticide cream, that will kill the mites, is prescribed. You will need to re-apply the treatment after seven days to ensure all the mites get killed.
You should apply the insecticide cream or lotion over the whole body.
Apply the lotion or cream to a dry, cool skin. Not after taking a hot bath.
Read the leaflet of the cream and follow the instructions. The lotion or cream should be left on the skin for the full recommended time. 8 – 12 hours for the cream and 24 hours for the lotion.
The itching and rash are caused by your body’s reaction to the mites, their eggs, their saliva or their faeces. You can spread scabies before you know that you have been infected.