Scabies is a skin condition defined by small-sized, reddened bumps with significant itchiness. The condition is brought about by mites that burrow beneath the skin. Generally, scabies easily spreads from one individual to another, especially those who share close living areas.
In most cases, the mites responsible for scabies live in the narrow cracks and folds of the skin. The usual sites include the folds amidst the toes and fingers, knees, wrists, thighs and genitals.
What are the signs?
The usual indications of scabies include:
- Intense itchiness
- Skin rash comprised of miniature reddened bumps
If a child has scabies, the itchiness all over the body can make him/her tired or cranky from loss of sleep due to the itching at night time.
An individual can be infected for 4-6 weeks before any symptoms arise. It is vital to undergo assessment for up to 6 weeks after being exposed or once symptoms arise even if already screened for scabies.
Management of scabies
This skin condition is managed with creams that contains permethrin. The cream is applied all over the body including the hands and palms up to the soles of the feet.
Among children, the cream might be applied to the scalp. Make sure that the affected area is cool, clean and dry prior to the application of the cream.
Permethrin is applied and allowed to remain on the skin for 8-14 hours and thoroughly rinsed off. It is usually placed at night time and rinsed off in the morning.
In some cases, antihistamines are taken orally or in cream form to lessen the itchiness. If infection is present, it is also treated. Generally, the reddened bumps on the skin should settle within 4 weeks after treatment has been started.