what is Scabies ?
Scabies is a skin condition caused by an infestation of the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites burrow into the skin, causing intense itching and small raised red bumps. The itching is usually most intense at night and is caused by an allergic reaction to the mites and their waste products.
Scabies is highly contagious and can be spread through close skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, as well as through sharing personal items such as towels or bedding. It is common in crowded living conditions, such as nursing homes, child care centers, and prisons.
Diagnosis of scabies is typically made based on symptoms and physical examination of the affected area. A skin scraping can be done to confirm the diagnosis, but this is not always necessary.
Treatment of scabies involves using prescription creams or lotions that kill the mites. These medications are applied to the entire body, including the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and are usually left on for several hours before being washed off. Everyone who has been in close contact with the infected person should be treated at the same time to prevent re-infestation.
In addition to medical treatment, it is important to wash bedding and clothing in hot water and dry on high heat to kill any mites that may be present. Vacuuming can also help to remove mites from upholstery and carpet.
In severe cases of scabies, oral medications may be needed in addition to topical treatment. These can include ivermectin, a medication that is taken orally to kill the mites.
People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV or other immunocompromising conditions, may experience a more severe form of scabies known as crusted scabies. This form of the disease is characterized by thick crusts of skin that contain a large number of mites, and can be much more difficult to treat.
In conclusion, scabies is a common and highly contagious skin condition caused by an infestation of the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. It is characterized by intense itching and raised red bumps, and is typically treated with prescription creams or lotions. In severe cases, oral medications may also be necessary. To prevent the spread of scabies, it is important to wash bedding and clothing in hot water and dry on high heat, and to vacuum upholstery and carpet.