Scabies is an itchy skin condition. It is caused by a human itch mite, called Sarcoptes scabiei. It is a highly contagious infestation of the skin. Scabies makes you sick.
Can scabies me you sick?
- Human scabies is a highly contagious infestation of the skin which is caused by the human itch mite i.e. Sarcoptes scabiei.
- Derived from a Latin word “scabere” meaning “to scratch”, mites called Sarcoptes scabiei
- Also known as the seven-year itch.
- Not an infection, but an infestation.
- Scabies is classified by the W.H.O as a water-related disease.
- Females infest humans and are 0.3 mm-0.4 mm long; the males are about half this size.
- The scabies mite is not able to fly or jump thus they crawl.
- Occurs worldwide and is very common.
- It is epidemics in hospitals and the institutions which provide long term care services including nursing homes.
- Very sensitive to their environment. They can live in a host body for 24-36 hours under many conditions.
- The mites that infest animals are not similar to the mites that infect humans.
- The scabies mite that infests animals is mange.
- Mange mites can spread to humans and cause minor itching and redness; will die out on their own, limiting symptoms in humans.
- Our pets must be treated because it may cause itchy skin and loss of fur in them.
- We cannot see human scabies mite with our naked eyes thus we need a microscope.
- The lifecycle of scabies mites is about 30 days in human skin.
- Females deposit 60-90 eggs as they burrow deep down the skin.
- Male mite dies after copulation.
- After 4–6 weeks, the patient develops an allergic reaction to the presence of mite proteins and feces, causing an intense itch.
- Scratching can lead to inoculation of the skin with bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, leading to the development of impetigo (skin sores), especially in the tropics.
- Mites move through the top layers of the skin by secreting proteases that degrade stratum corneum, feed on dissolved tissue but do not ingest blood, and Scybala(feces) are left behind as they travel through the epidermis, creating linear lesions.
- Variable, but may take 14 days or more before itching occurs.
Mode of transmission:
- Scabies is spread from an infected person through direct skin to skin contact.
- It is spread easily among household members, sex partners, and nursing homes.
- It is spread indirectly if other people come in contact with things of an infected person such as towels, clothes, or bedding. But, it is less common.
- Contact with the infected person should be for long period. A quick handshake or hug will not spread scabies.
The population at risk:
- People living in crowded populations.
- Sexually active adults
- People in child care facilities
- Prison inmates
- People in institutional care
- People with weakened immune systems.
Scabies makes you sick. It includes the following symptoms:
- Intense itching, especially at night
- A pimple-like rash
- Scales or blisters
- Sores caused by scratching.
- Rashes appear in the female breasts in the skin of the nipple.
- Red skin
Complications of Scabies:
Scabies makes you sick. It includes the following complications :
III. Persistent itchy red nodules may remain on genitals or armpits of children.
I. Secondary infection:
- Repeatedly scratching itchy skin caused by scabies may break the skin’s surface, making it more vulnerable to develop a bacterial skin infection, such as impetigo.
- Antibiotics may be recommended to control secondary infection.
II. Crusted scabies :
- This condition occurs particularly in some immuno-suppressed patients, including those with HIV/AIDS.
- Characterized by hyper-infestation with millions of mites, producing widespread scale and crust, often without significant itching.
- Patients are a significant source of reinfection to the rest of the surrounding community.
Where Does Scabies Mites Live?
For young children, we can find parasite in these areas:
- The scalp
- The neck
- The soles of the feet
- The palms of their hand
For adults, we can find scabies in these areas:
- Around the waist.
- In between the fingers.
- Around the patella.
- Around the axilla.
Often times, the parasite will stay in places where the person keeps jewelry; under bracelets, etc.
- The doctor takes Skin Scrapings from the burrows by the use of a microscope for the identification of the mites, eggs, or feces of mites.
- Health awareness among the general population about scabies and it’s the mode of transmission.
- Encourage people for early diagnosis and treatment.
- Increase awareness about the importance of maintaining proper personal hygiene.
Control Of Case:
- Primary management involves the application of a topical scabicide such as permethrin 5% (caution in children aged under 6 months), 5% malathion in aqueous base, 10–25% benzyl benzoate emulsion or 5–10% sulfur ointment applied all over the body.
Control of Environment:
- Clothing, towels, and bedclothes used by the infested person in the 48 hours before treatment should be laundered using the hot cycle, or dry cleaned.
- Alternatively, items may be placed in a plastic bag and sealed for 1 week before laundering, as the mite cannot survive long periods of the human body.
- The number of medications is effective.
- Treatment should involve the entire household and any others who have had recent, prolonged contact with the infected individual. Antihistamines and prescription of anti-inflammatory agents.
- No vaccine
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What happens if scabies are left untreated?
If scabies is left untreated for a longer period of time, Scabies will continue for more months and further complications may arise from it.
Does Scabies weaken your immune system?
Crusted scabies occurs particularly in some immuno-suppressed patients, including those with HIV/AIDS, diabetes, etc.
Can scabies make you tired?
Scabies makes you sick. It includes the following symptoms: Intense itching, especially at night, fatigue, a pimple-like rash, Scales or blisters, Sores caused by scratching.
Can you get rid of scabies forever?
Primary management involves the application of a topical scabicide such as permethrin 5% (caution in children aged under 6 months), 5% malathion in aqueous base, 10–25% benzyl benzoate emulsion or 5–10% sulfur ointment applied all over the body.
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