Details about Scabies Disease – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny burrowing mite known as Sarcoptes scabies. Intense itching arises in the area where the mite burrows. The urge to scratch may be particularly active at night. Scabies is contagious and can expand quickly through close physical contact in a family, child care group, school class, nursing home, or prison. Because scabies is so contagious, doctors sometimes suggest treatment for entire families or contact groups. Scabies can be readily treated. Medicines applied to the skin destroy the mites that create scabies and their eggs. But you may still have some itching for many weeks after treatment of scabies.

Symptoms of Scabies Disease

Scabies symptoms include:

1) Itching, sometimes serious and generally worse at night
2) Thin, irregular burrow tracks made up of tiny blisters or bumps on the skin

The burrows or tracks usually come in folds of skin. Though almost any area of the body may be included, in adults and older children scabies symptoms are most often found:

1) Between the fingers
2) In the armpits
3) Around the waist
4) Along the insides of the wrists
5) On the inner elbows
6) On the soles of the feet
7) Around the breasts
8) Around the male genital area
9) On the buttocks
10) On the knees

In infants and young children, infection typically includes the:

1) Scalp
2) Palms of the hands
3) Soles of the feet

If you have had scabies before, signs and symptoms of scabies may grow within a few days of exposure. If you have never had scabies, it can take as long as six weeks for signs and symptoms to start. You can still expand scabies even if you do not have any signs or symptoms yet.

Scabies Disease Causes

The eight-legged mite that causes scabies disease in humans is microscopic. The female mite burrows just under the skin and creates a tunnel where it stores eggs. The eggs hatch and the mite larvae work their way to the surface of the skin, where they mature and can expand to other parts of the skin or to the skin of other people. The itching of scabies causes outputs from the body’s allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs, and their waste. Close physical contact and, less often, the sharing of clothing or bedding with an infected person can expand the mites. Animals and humans are all influenced by their own distinct species of mites. Each species prefers one particular type of host and does not live long away from that preferred host. Humans may have a temporary skin reaction from contact with the animal causes scabies mite. But people are unlikely to develop full-blown scabies from this source, as they might from contact with the human scabies mite.

Complications of Scabies Disease

Vigorous scratching can break the skin and permit a secondary bacterial infection, like impetigo, to happen. Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin that is caused most often by staph bacteria or rarely by streptococci bacteria. A more serious form of scabies complications, known as crusted scabies, may influence specific high-risk groups, including:

1) People with chronic health conditions that weaken the immune system, like HIV/AIDS disease or chronic leukemia
2) People who are very ill, as people in hospitals or nursing facilities
3) Older people in nursing homes

Crusted scabies, also known as Norwegian scabies, tends to make skin crusty and scaly, and influence large parts of the body. It is very contagious and can be hard to treat. Usually, someone with scabies complications has about 10 to 15 mites. In contrast, someone with crusted scabies may be infested with millions of mites.

Diagnosis of Scabies Disease

For the diagnosis of scabies, the doctor tests the skin, looking for signs of mites, including the characteristic burrows. When the doctor situates a mite burrow, he or she may take a scraping from that area of the skin to examine under a microscope. The microscopic examination can understand the presence of mites or their eggs

Scabies Disease Treatment

Scabies treatment includes removing the infestation with medicines. Many creams and lotions are available with a doctor’s prescription. The doctor will likely ask you to apply the drug to the whole body, from the neck down, and leave the medicine on for at least eight to ten hours. Some treatments of scabies disease need a second application and treatments of scabies disease required to be repeated if new burrows and a rash come. Because scabies expands so quickly, the doctor will likely suggest treatment for all household members and other close contacts, even if they show no signs of scabies infestation.

Updated: January 7, 2020 — 4:22 pm

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