- by Dr Asmita Dhekne
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- Feb 09 2017
What is Scabies?
It is a skin infestation that causes an itchy, red rash on the skin. It is the highly contagious condition that can easily be passed from one person to another through direct skin contact. It may also be transmitted through infested clothing or bedding.
It is caused by a mite known as the Sarcoptes scabiei. If they left untreated it can live on the skin for months. They reproduce on the surface of the skin and then burrow into it and lay eggs.
It can take six weeks for symptoms to appear, after the initial exposure to scabies. The main symptoms include rash and intense itching that gets worse at night. The rash itself can consist of tiny bites, hives, bumps under the skin, or a pimple like bumps.
Common sites for scabies in older children and adults are:
- Area between the fingers
It is also known as crusted scabies. It is more severe and contagious type of scabies. People with crusted scabies develop thick crusts of skin that contain thousands of mites and eggs. They can also appear thick, grey and are easy to crumble when touched. They usually developed in people who have weakened immune systems. It spreads in the same way as normal scabies.
It can be diagnosed by performing the physical exam. A doctor can confirm the diagnosis by removing a mite from the skin with a needle. If it is not found easily, a doctor will scrape off a small section of skin to obtain a tissue sample.
There are several ointments, creams, and lotions that can be applied directly to the skin. Oral medications are also available. It is advised to apply for medicine at night when the mites are most active.
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