Scabies is one of the easily transmitted skin allergies caused by mites which are usually unseen by the naked eye. Due to its contingency, the skin allergy can affect people of different ages and gender especially those with weak immune systems. A number of studies also suggested that scabies is more prone to schoolchildren and to people living in crowded places because of possible wide array of hosts that are present.
According to statistics done by researchers shows that about 6 to 27 percent of the population suffered from the allergy at some point of their lives.
People with low hygiene and weak immune systems are one of those greatly affected with scabies. Scabies can be transmitted from one person to another or from an object which is contaminated with the scabies-causing mite. This skin condition is caused particularly by the female mite of the species scabiei which burrows deep into the hosts outermost layer of the skin in order to lay its eggs.
After being laid, the eggs hatches after three to ten days into larvae which stays in the skin until it reaches its nymphal stage and mature into adult mites living for about four weeks on the host’s skin. The male mites found roaming at the surface of the skin burrows into the skin.
The movement of the mites causes severe itching due to the response of cells to allergen. Allergen is known to be a substance that can cause allergy due to its capability to excite hypersensitivity of an individual.
The scabies-causing mites can live in objects like clothing, blankets, shoes, towels, and on beds for two to three days. People can easily get infected with mites by simply using these contaminated objects.
Itching is the first and most common effect of mites moving from one portion of the skin to another. It can become worsen during hot weather and at night. While the burrowing of mites at the superficial layer of the skin causes appearance of rashes. It can either be found in the elbows, arms, feet, back, and even in the external genitalia.
There can be manifestations of an s-shaped trails as well as pimple-like dots of insect bites on the host’s skin. These manifestations are often observed on the gaps of the body like the fingers as well as toes.
The worst effect of scabies-causing mites is the crusted scabies. A disease often obtained by individuals who have problems with their immune system. And due to weak immune system, the infected person suffers from uncontrolled proliferation of mites thus affecting his entire body except for his face. There is an appearance of scaly rashes with a thickened skin due to accumulation of large number of mites however the person feels only slight itching.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of scabies usually appear two to six weeks after being infected with the scabies-causing mites. However, individuals who have previously suffered from scabies can observe its signs and symptoms after a week when they get infested again.
- Severe itching
- Appearance of a rash-like and insect bite-like irritations on the surface of the skin
- Formation of sores due to uncontrollable scratching
Since signs and symptoms of scabies are only felt after how many weeks, it is not easy to eradicate the allergy-causing mites which have already started to burrow within the skin. Upon the first appearance of its signs and symptoms, visit the doctor and ask for prescriptions. Apply prescribed ointments, lotions, or creams mostly containing a 5 percent permethrin to help lessen proliferation of itching. Calamine lotions and other lotions with benzyl benzoate, sulfur in petrolatum and crotamiton are also recommended to help relieve itching sensations. And in some cases, antihistamine can be used for medication.
Though mild occurrence of scabies can be treated with ointments, creams or lotions, severe cases like crusted scabies are treated for a very long time. This is because the mites are protected by a layer of crusts and there can be possibility of bacterial infection.
A good hygiene is the first and most important way to prevent accumulation of scabies-causing mites on your home.
- Vacuum carpets as well as upholstered furniture at least every day. This will prevent mites from mounting up.
- Wash clothing and garments with detergent and hot water. If possible, soak them on bleach to help get rid of all the mites that have manifested on them.
- Pets like dogs can be carriers of mites too, bathe them regularly and do not allow them to enter your house.
- Family members having signs and symptoms of scabies must be taken to the doctor and be treated immediately in order to prevent further transmission of the mites. It is also essential to avoid sharing clothing and beddings with him.
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