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Sunday, June 19, 2011

All about Scabies; Introduction, how to discover and effective treatment.

The main symptom of scabies is intense itching that is worse at night when the skin temperature is warmer.
The skin rash that is associated with a scabies infection is made up of tiny red insect bites or spots. If you scratch the rash, you may also develop crusty sores.

Burrow marks can be found anywhere on the body but, in adults, they often appear in the some areas as shown in the picture:

-Your GP will usually be able to diagnose scabies from the appearance of your skin, and by looking for the burrow marks that are made by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite.

-Ink test
The burrows of scabies mites can be highlighted by using an ink test. The ink is rubbed around an area of itchy skin before being wiped off with an alcohol pad. If scabies burrows are present, some of the ink will remain and will have tracked into the burrows, showing up as a dark line.

In order to confirm the diagnosis, a skin sample may be gently scraped from the affected area so that it can be examined under a microscope for evidence of scabies mites and their eggs and faeces (stools).

Treatment of Scabies:
The two most widely used treatments for scabies are:

  • permethrin cream
  • malathion lotion
Permethrin cream is usually recommended as the first treatment. Malathion lotion is used if the permethrin cream proves to be ineffective. Both medications contain insecticides that kill the scabies mite.

Permethrin cream should be used under medical supervision for women who are pregnant and also for young children who are between two months and two years old. You should check with your GP before using this treatment.
.It is important that all members of your household, and any close contacts

Some advices for Scabies treatment:
1-Permathrin cream or malathion lotion should be applied to cool, dry skin and not after a hot bath. If the cream or lotion is applied when the body is hot, it will be absorbed quickly into the skin and will not remain on the area where the burrows are present.
2-Apply it to the whole body from the chin and ears downwards, paying particular attention to the areas between the fingers and toes and under the nails and areas where there are skin folds. Treatment can be massaged under fingernails and toenails using an old toothbrush (which should be sealed in a bag and thrown away afterwards).
3-Adults should not apply lotion above the neck. However, in children under two years old a thick layer should be applied to the scalp, face and ears, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
4-People with a weak immune system, the very young and elderly people should apply the treatment to their whole body, including their face and scalp.
5-If you wash your hands within 8–12 hours, reapply the cream to your hands, making sure that you also put it under your nails.
6-Permethrin needs to be left on for 8–12 hours, and malathion should be left on for 24 hours.
7-Follow-up treatment after seven days is recommended in order to make sure that the treatment is successful. This will ensure that any mites that have hatched from existing eggs will be killed by the second application.