Scabies is basically a skin condition that is caused by a mite. The mites responsible for causing scabies are miniature in size and typically bury beneath the skin and cause severe itchiness in which urges the individual to scratch the affected area, thus breaking the skin and increasing the risk for infection. These mites could not be seen with the naked eye but can be viewed under a microscope. Always bear in mind that scabies can be transmitted from one individual to another through close contact. It is a highly transmittable condition and once an individual acquires scabies either through direct contact or using contaminated items, small blisters and bumps will start to manifest in the infected area.
Signs and symptoms of scabies
- Itchiness which usually occurs at night. This is the most common symptom and it can be severe that it keeps the individual awake at night.
- Rashes cause small-sized bumps that often form a line. These bumps usually appear like miniature bites, hives or knots beneath the skin.
- Thick crusts on the skin during severe cases of scabies. Take note that these crusts can accommodate hundreds or even thousands of mites and their eggs. Due to the high number of mites burrowing beneath the skin, the rashes and itchiness can become intense.
- Sores can develop once the itchy rashes are continuously scratched and due to the break in the skin, infection can also develop.
Medications used in treated scabies
Once a doctor is consulted, a diagnosis of scabies infection is given. There are creams and lotions that are readily available in the market that can help eliminate the mites which only live on their hosts for 2-3 days.
The commonly prescribed medication for scabies is Elimite. This is applied by rubbing on the whole body starting at the neck up to the feet and allowing it to stay overnight. The medication will eliminate the mites right away so applying again is no longer needed.
Once the mites have been eliminated, itchiness is still present. The itchiness can persist for several days. The individual can be given antihistamines orally or use creams that can be applied on the rash to minimize the itchiness. The rashes must be treated just like with any other rash. You can also instruct the individual to take an oatmeal bath. Another basic first aid measure that you can perform is to apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce the itchiness.
Take note that scabies is a highly contagious condition. There are ways in order to prevent the spread of scabies. Initially, all areas where the infected individual has been must be thoroughly cleaned. Comforters, bed sheets and towels must be washed while the carpets must also be cleaned.
All items that have been washed should be dried using a dryer. It is not best to have these items air dried. Make sure that you will vacuum the area properly and eliminate the vacuum bag once finished. Lastly, you have to cut under the nails and clean properly so that the mites will not spread to others.