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Diagnosis and treatment of Scabies

Scabies treatment

How to treat scabies introduction
A nasty eight legged mite called a Sarcoptes scabiei causes the itchy and uncomfortable skin condition known as scabies. The mite lives in burrows it makes under the skin and causes acute itching. It is very hard to resist the urge to scratch, especially at night when sufferers tend to scratch themselves in their sleep. Scabies is contagious and can spread quickly though a school, family or nursing home. For this reason, doctors usually recommend treatment of the whole family or contact group when scabies is found so that re-infection can be prevented.
You can apply medications to your skin to destroy the mites but itching might not cease until a few weeks have passed since it takes a while for the skin to heal and for the mites´ waste to exit your body.

What are the signs and symptoms of Scabies

There are various signs and symptoms of scabies which include acute itching, normally worse at night, and irregular thin marks on the skin which, upon closer examination, are tiny blisters. The thin marks are usually found in skin folds. Scabies might be found on early any body part but the most common places are the armpits, between fingers, on the inside of wrists, around the breasts, around the male genital area, around the waist, inside the elbow, on the soles of the feet, on knees, shoulder blades or buttocks.
The Sarcoptes scabiei mite is microscopic so therefore is invisible to the naked eye. The female will burrow beneath the skin and create a tunnel in which to lay her eggs. After twenty one days the eggs have matured and the new mites make their way to the skin surface. Then they mature or spread to other areas of the body or to other hosts. The body is allergic to the scabies mites, their eggs and waste and that is why extreme itching is felt.
Sharing a bed or close physical contact with an affected person can spread the disease.
Dogs and cats can also be affected by mites, but they are different from the type that lives on human hosts. A dog mite will not live long on a cat or human, for example, but might give them a temporary skin rash or itching from its bites or attempts to burrow.
How to treat scabies?

To treat scabies you need to use medication in the form of a cream or lotion. The medication is usually applied to the whole body, from the neck down, and left on to work for eight hours or more. Permethrin (Elimite or Acticin) and crotamiton (Eurax) are two well known anti-scabies formulations but even if the mites all die, itching might continue for a few weeks afterwards. If the lotion or cream does not work, or if the patient has an altered immune system, doctors sometimes prescribe an oral medication instead. It is usually recommended that all family members or sexual partners are also treated, as scabies spreads so easily to people in close contact with the sufferer.

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