Scabies

Scabies

About

Scabies

Scabies is an itchy skin infection caused by a tiny skin mite that bores itself into the upper layer of the human skin causing an infection.

Causes

Skin-to-skin contact with someone who has scabies poses a risk for infection. This contact must be prolonged, a hug or handshake will not spread them. Scabies is found worldwide and can spread rapidly in situations where close body and skin contact happens frequently.

Risk Factors

It is commonly seen in children and their mothers as well as teenagers who are sexually active. Those who live in nursing and other care homes are likely candidates for scabies. Nursing homes, extended care facilities, prisons, and even child care facilities are institutions that most commonly have scabies outbreaks. Anyone who has a weakened immune system is susceptible to easily contracting it.

Intense Itching can cause skin sores that can lead to infection by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or beta-hemolytic streptococci.

Symptoms

Scabies symptoms are intense itching or a rash or sores forming on the skin. The sores may harden and crust over in severe cases, meaning there are now hundreds of mites in the skin. Sever itching especially at night is a first symptom of scabies. Crusted scabies is a more severe form of scabies and can happen to elderly that are immunocompromised or have conditions that keep them from moving.

Diagnosis

A doctor will perform a skin examination In order to diagnose scabies and will most likely remove a bit of the infected area and inspect it under a microscope.

Diagnosis is often made by the appearance of rash and presence of burrows. When possible it should be confirmed by finding mites, mite eggs, or fecal matter.

*Source:

American Academy of Dermatology Center for Disease Control

Treatment

Treatment

A doctor will prescribe some kind of topical cream or medicinal lotion to be applied to the infected area or whole body to treat scabies.

Scabicides are often given to the person with scabies. Within the first 2-6 weeks a person has scabies they may be unaware so it is also commonly given to household members and those the person has had sexual contact with. Scabicide is only given with a prescription and no “over the counter” non-prescription medication has proven to work. The treatment should be applied to the entire body from the neck down to the toes. In an infant it should also be applied to their entire head.

Prevention

To prevent scabies avoid close physical contact with someone who has a scabies infection, as well as sharing clothing or bedding. Clothing or bedding touched by an infected person should be machine washed in hot water and dried. Items that cannot be washed can be stored in a closed plastic bag for several days to a week. Scabies do not usually survive more than 2-3 days without contact with human skin.

*Source:

American Academy of Dermatology Center for Disease Control

Videos

Scabies Videos

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