Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The presence of the mite leads to intense itching in the area of its burrows. The urge to scratch may be especially strong at night. Scabies is contagious and can spread quickly through close physical contact in a family, child care group, school class, nursing home or prison. Because of the contagious nature of scabies, doctors often recommend treatment for entire families or contact groups.Scabies is readily treated. Medications applied on your skin kill the mites that cause scabies and their eggs, although one may still experience some itching for several weeks.
HOW IS SCABIES DIAGNOSED?
A physical examination with a thorough scrutiny of the skin would help in diagnosing this disease. A small scraping of skin could be examined with a microscope to confirm scabies.
HOW IS SCABIES TREATED?
Treatment for scabies usually involves getting rid of the infestation with prescription ointments, creams, and lotions that can be applied to the skin directly. The doctor may also prescribe additional medications to help relieve some of the bothersome symptoms associated with scabies. These include:
• antihistamines such as Benadryl or pramoxine lotion to help control the itching
• antibiotics to kill any infections that develop as a result of constantly scratching your skin
• steroid creams to relieve swelling and itching
DID YOU KNOW?
There are approximately 300 million cases of scabies in the world every year