Scabies: symptoms and how to recognize it. Care, treatment and diagnosis.
What is scabies
Scabies is a skin disease that occurs with even violent rashes.
Scabies is most frequently found in crowded areas in unsanitary living conditions. Scabies, in Italy, is generally more common among children. In our country, the number of cases is increasing: in fact, it has gone from 2,000 / 3,500 cases in the years 1989-2000 to more than 5,700 in 2003. Some have associated this increase with the presence of migrants but this association cannot be verified.
Last July 2019, "il Giornale" reported "On board the Gregoretti we have a total of 29 people suffering from different pathologies, including 25 cases of scabies, one of tuberculosis, plus other cases of infectious cellulitis". Gregoretti transported 116 migrants in difficult conditions. We remind you that the problem is not linked to the arrival of migrants but to their management.
Theredisease is causedfrom several species ofmites. The scabies mite can transmit the disease directly, by coming into contact with the person or by using vectors. The disease, in fact, iscontagious.
Contagion can occur from person to person, through already infected pets or even through objects. Although contagion by objects is possible, more often thediseaseis broadcast for thedirect skin-to-skin contact with a greater risk ofinfectionif thecontactis prolonged.
THEsymptoms of scabies, to be manifest, they take four to six weeks. Infection, in fact, in the initial phase, resultsasymptomatic.
Since there are manyallergic symptoms, the recovery is retroactive. That is manysymptomsthey can continue to appear even when the mites have been eliminated.
THEsymptomsmost common of scabies are:
- Intense itching
- Skin burrows
The rash generally occurs in the areas of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, back, buttocks and external genitals. Only inelderly patients, in newborns and immunosuppressed people (who are undergoing chemotherapy, HIV patients ...) rashes also occur on the face and scalp.
The burrows are traces (mostly linear or S-shaped) left by the mites and which are often associated with what appear to be insect bites.
How to recognize scabies
Recognizing scabies is simple but therediagnosisonly an experienced doctor can do it. In case of a rash, it is best to contact your doctor.
The classic sign of scabies is lemite burrows, that is, the skin burrows that mites dig inside the skin. Therediagnosis, is not performed by observing the skin burrows but as a whole (the areas where the rashes occur, the patient's story) but above all thescabies is diagnosedafter finding either the scabies mites, their eggs or fecal pellets.
To the untrained eye, isymptoms of scabiesthey can be confused as other skin diseases such as dermatitis, syphilis, symptoms of urticaria, allergic reactions and infections of other parasites.
How is scabies treated
There are several drugs that are effective against scabies. It is advisable to consult a doctor in order to follow the most appropriate treatment for the case. A topical cream is usually applied from the neck down every night before bedtime. In case of severe infections, it is applied twice a day.
Among the various drugs used to treat scabies we point out permethrin (for topical use) which, however, has the side effect of irritating the skin. Another drug used to treat scabies is ivermectin (for oral use). Ivermectin is often associated with a topical drug and is prescribed only in the case of a highly overt infection and is never prescribed for children. There is no shortage of ivermectin preparations for topical use that have been found to be quite effective and also cheaper than the previously mentioned permethrin.
As stated, there are numerous drugs for the treatment of scabies. Other active ingredients used in the medical field are: lindane, benzyl benzoate, crotamiton, malathion, sulfur-based preparations ... To choose the best treatment it is of fundamental importance to rely on your trusted doctor.
What to do in case of scabies
Hygiene, in case of scabies, becomes the main focus! What to do in case of scabies?
Wash household linen at high temperature such as:
- bed sheets,
- sofa covers,
- mattress cover,
- pillow cases ...
- everything that comes into contact with the skin ...
Carry out a thorough cleaning of the house. Know that despite prompt care, isymptoms of scabiesthey will completely disappear within a few months.
Themedical treatmentit is a must because if left untreated, the disease can persist for several years.
Anyone who shares the same home with you should undergo aprevention. Also in this case it is advisable to seek medical advice to understand if it is appropriate to use a drug for preventive use.