Scabies is a skin infection, and a roundworm Sarcoptes scabiei is responsible for the occurrence of this infection in the human body. The infection starts in the body when the mite borrows the upper layer of skin and lays its eggs there. The eggs and the roundworm start living in your body under the upper epithelial layer of the skin.
These roundworms and their eggs cause several symptoms in the body, which can stay for a prolonged duration under your skin. In this blog, we will discuss detailed symptoms, causes, and treatment of scabies infection. So, let’s start the discussion of these topics one by one.
An interesting fact about the scabies infection is that it can stay in a person’s body for as long as seven years. Due to this reason, the physicians also call it a seven-year itch. When the roundworm enters your body, it starts showing a few symptoms. Those are-
- Itching is the most common symptom of scabies disease. The level of this itching can be normal to severe based on the number of worms in your body. According to patients, the itching gets worse at night.
- Tiny blister-type formation on your skin starts appearing after the infestation. Under these bumps, the roundworms live.
- Redness starts happening in the area where the roundworm is present. Commonly you will find roundworms in the folds of the skin like between fingers, armpits, around nipples, belly buttons, genitals, etc.
- In young children, the common places where you can find scabies are the face, scalp, palms, feet soles, fingers, etc.
- Your skin might also develop sores because of constantly scratching your itchy rashes.
- A thick crust starts developing on your skin, which means you have severe scabies.
The symptoms of scabies might also take some time to appear in your body. If you are having the issue for the first time, the symptoms might take 5-6 weeks to appear in your body. But those who had it before might show the symptoms within a few days. Even asymptomatic scabies in their initial day can spread from your body to others through the skin to skin contact.
As soon as symptoms appear in your body, you must consult your physician. They can help you confirm whether the issue is scabies or not. Some other issues like dermatitis and eczema also show similar symptoms in the body.
As discussed above, a roundworm named Sarcoptes scabiei is causing the infection. To be specific, only the female mite will cause the infection in the body. Scabies is a small eight-legged mite that is present under the skin when the issue happens in your body. The female mite enters your body for the first time and starts laying eggs under your skin. They hatch and start traveling towards the surface, where they mature. When the number of mature roundworms increases in the body, the level of scabies in the body gets serious.
When a person has scabies, they can travel from one person’s body to another. Those ways are-
- If you come in the skin to skin contact with another person, then the scabies roundworm can travel in their body.
- Sharing clothes with people with scabies infection can also spread the infection.
- You must not share the same bed with a person who has scabies. It can develop chances that a normal person gets the infection.
How to Diagnose Scabies Infection?
Following are the ways through which your physician can check that you are suffering from scabies infection or not-
- When you reach the physician, they are going to check your skin. If your skin has signs of any burrows or holes, then there are high chances that you have scabies.
- In the next step, the physician will take a sample of your skin and then check it under the microscope. They will find some eggs and mites in that skin sample, which can signify that you have scabies.
- The physician can also perform a blood test on your blood to know the intensity of the scabies infection in your body.
Following are the ways of treatment of scabies infection that a physician might suggest to you. The physician is going to decide which is the best one for your body-
- One treatment for scabies infection is Sulfur cream. In this treatment, a person has to apply the cream on their body and leave it overnight. One should continue doing it for five-six nights in a row. The medicine is safe for adults, pregnant women, and small babies under two months of age.
- The next treatment for the infection is Soolantra cream, which kills mites. This cream’s application method is the same as that of sulfur cream. The cream is safe for children who are two months and older. The cream is a method for those people who cannot use the Ivermectin tablet.
- The best way of treating the scabies infection is Ivermectin. It is a prescription-based medicine that can lower the symptoms of scabies and kill the roundworm with time. A person needs to use the medicine for a few weeks to months based on the number of roundworms in the body. Children below 15 kg and pregnant and breastfeeding women cannot use the medicine.
When a person is suffering from scabies, they should take some precautionary measures. It is going to save other people around them from getting scabies. Those preventive measures are-
- The clothes and linens that an infected person is using must be washed regularly. Also, other people should not use them until the person is completely over the infection. It is important to do so because the clothes and linens have eggs on them, which can enter the body of others.
- If there is any item that you can’t wash, it must be packed in a plastic bag and left for a few days. It is going to starve them and kill them in their plastic bags.
- You should regularly clean and vacuum your home so that the chances of scabies spreading to other bodies decreases. You should especially clean all the places that the infected person has touched.