What are scabies bites? Is it an infection or an infestation? What is the cause of scabies in adults? In this post, we have a comprehensive discussion on the early symptoms of scabies in adults, the cause and how you can diagnose the scabies. The article provides pictures of different complications of scabies on face, legs, neck and arms. You can also learn on various home remedies to cure these scabies.
Scabies is not an infection but rather an infestation of tiny mites called sarcoptes scabiei that set up in the outer layers of the human skin. It is a kind of skin invasion that feels like an itch thus the name seven-year itch. It is a contagious skin infestation that causes severe itchiness and pimple- like rash.
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Occasionally, you are likely to have tiny burrow seen in the skin. It takes quite some time to detect the symptoms. When first infected, you can take up to two to six weeks before you tell the early symptoms. However, if you develop a second infection later in life, symptoms may begin within a day. The symptoms can be across the body or just in certain areas such as the wrist, between fingers or along your waistline.
In young children, the head is mostly affected. Itching is often worse during the night. As a result of scratching, the skin gets a breakdown putting you at risk of additional bacterial infection of the skin.
Scabies bites pictures
How do scabies bites look like? When you are infested with scabies for the first time, it takes about four to six weeks for the skin to react. Mite bites causes intense itchiness, especially during the night. Since scabies is an infestation of the skin, it will appear like a pimple. Depending on the level of severity, scabies can take the form of scales or blisters. As you scratch the skin, you are likely to end up with sores.
To help you understand how scabies bites appear, we have inserted pictures, images and photos in the post. This is to help you identify with your symptoms.
Symptoms of scabies in adults
What are the early symptoms of scabies in adults? Scabies is caused primarily by infection of the female mite. When the mites burrow into your skin to live, they deposit eggs. In most cases the symptoms of scabies are due to allergic reaction to the mites. It takes about only ten to fifteen mites to get infection.
The symptoms include:
- Scabies will cause a feeling of itchiness. The itchiness can be severe especially during the night. This can be coupled with a very itchy rash. If you have an itch from first encounter of scabies, the itch arises 4-6 weeks after transmission of a mite. If you have subsequent infestation, the rash is immediate. Itch can be still be there for several weeks after you successful treatment to get rid of the mites.
- A pimple-like rash. Scabies bites is a hypersensitivity reaction that will arises several weeks after infestation of the female mites. The allergic reaction due to mites burrowing in the outer layer of the skin leaves a pimple or bump-rash on the skin. The rash can appear as papules or nodules in your armpits, groin buttocks, scrotum.
- Scales or blisters. This is a common symptom of crusted scabies. Considered highly contagious type of scabies in which you are infested by a thousand or millions of mites living in the surface of your skin. Scales or blisters arises from misdiagnosed psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. Scales will be prominent in the finger webs, on the elbows, breasts and wrist. Crusted scabies may also affect the scalp.
- Sores caused by scratching. Scabies is very itchy rash in the skin surface. This itch is known to be worse at night usually couple by scratching. In the process you may cause a skin breakdown developing into sores and blisters. You are also at risk of getting bacterial infection from the open sores on your skin surface
Other symptoms include:
- Another typical nature of scabies burrows is the appearance of track-like in the skin of the affected person. They are raised lines and usually take a grayish –white or skin colored. These lines are appear when the female mites create tunnels just under the surface of your skin. When the burrows are created, each female can lay up to 10 to 25 eggs each.
- A burning sensation in the skin surface. Do scabies bites burn? Itching can get intense and makes it difficult for you to resist scratching. If you frequently scratch the bites, you may end up with a burning feeling.
- Scabies blisters. Frequent scratching of mite bites can create blisters under the skin surface. The mite bites will have fluid in them. You will end up getting bacterial skin infection, such as impetigo. The symptoms may include oozing of blood from the blisters. Impetigo is usually treated with antibiotics.
What is scabies caused from?
Did you know scabies is an infestation rather than an infection? Scabies is majorly acquired by skin-to-skin contact with someone else with scabies. It is highly contagious and can spread from one person to another. The contact might be quite short for instance, holding hands with an infested baby. It is sometimes sexually transmitted, though this contributes to a smaller percentage of the infestation. Occasionally, scabies can be acquired through sharing beddings.
A female mite called sarcoptes scabies, typically parasitic in nature is the cause of this skin condition. The mite characteristically burrow into the skin and deposits eggs. The itchy feeling or rash is an allergic reaction to the mites under the skin surface. When the female mite lay egg into the outside layers of the skin, it takes about 10-14 days for the eggs to develop. This explains why the symptoms takes about 4-6 weeks.
Scabies tend to burro in irregular tracks in the spaces between your fingers, on the palms and wrists. You may also notice scabies on or in elbows, nipples, armpits, buttocks, penis and heels. A visit to a healthcare provider for dermatoscopic or examination may reveal the contents of a burrow which includes mites, eggs or mite scybala.
Scabies on babies
Anyone can get scabies including babies. Scabies bites strike people of all ages. The mite that cause this skin condition burrows in the skin of the infant. It lives, feeds and lay eggs. This cause itchy rash on the skin of your infant. It is important to search carefully for the burrow. The itch can be severe, particularly if the rash is mild. If your child is having the infestation for the first time, the itch arises 4-6 weeks after transmission of a mite.
Scabies bites itch is characteristically more severe at night, this can disturb the sleep of your babies. It tends to affect the trunk and limbs. The scalp is sparingly affected by the mite bites. Scabies can cause severe skin scratching putting your child at risk of bacterial infection. You need to visit a pediatrician to kill the scabies in your child.
Are scabies contagious?
Can scabies be spread from one person to another? Scabies is a common skin condition that is caused by a mite infestation. Scabies typically spread when you have a prolonged skin-to-skin contact. This period gives the mites time to crawl and move from one person to another. Other ways of spreading the scabies include sharing personalized items such as beddings or towels.
Did you know scabies can be passed easily between family members or sexual partners? However, it is not likely to get an infestation of mites through a mere quick handshake or hug. The scabies mite can’t jump or fly and it tend to crawls very slowly. Crusted scabies formerly known as “Norwegian scabies” is one of the vey contagious variant of scabies in which the victim is infested by thousands or millions of mites in living in the surface of your skin.
Treatments for scabies, Natural cures for scabies.
Diagnosis of mites bites depend on the signs and symptoms. There are number of medications available to cure naturally these mites infestation. In most cases, your health care provider can identify the scabies based on the appearance of the rash and how you describe the itch. A skin scrapping can be used to confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor will collect skin from the affected area and use a microscope to check the sample for mites, eggs and or fecal matter.
Treating scabies with Rx Creams
Scabies is not an infection but rather an infestation. This implies that it will not go away on its own. It can only be cured with prescription medication that will kill the mites under the skin surface. Scabies can be cured using Rx creams or lotion that can be applied on your skin especially the affected areas. Here’s how to treat.
- Apply the lotion or cream on your neck, face, legs and other affected areas.
- Leave it for 8 to 14 hours
- Wash off the lotion or cream
- For effective treatment, repeat the above procedure for 3 days.
Oral antibiotics to kill, get rid of scabies bites
Scabies is a skin condition that is highly contagious especially through prolonged skin to skin contact. Oral antibiotics can be used to get rid of these mite bites. Your doctor may prescribe oral drugs such as ivermectin. HIV patients and children can as well use this medicine to cure the bites. Although oral ivermectin 200mcg/kg is convenient, it is quite more expensive than topical permethrin. Other available treatment include:
- 25% Benzyl benzoate lotion to be applied 3 days
- 2-10% precipitated Sulphur ointment
- 5 % Aqueous Malathion lotion applied on the skin and left for 24 hours.
For effective results, treatment should be done after 8-10 days just after the first application. This is to catch mites that have newly hatched.
How to treat itchy scabies at night
Most prescription provided by your healthcare will only kill the mites and their eggs. Can you get medication that provides immediate itch relief? Scabies bites tend to be severe at night. Usually the bites is coupled by frequent scratching of the skin exposing your skin to bacterial infection. To control itching, particularly at night, use antihistamine pills.
Apply Hydrocortisone cream on the affected skin and areas. However, it is good to know that using hydrocortisone can change the appearance of the mite rash making the condition harder to treat. It is therefore important to confirm with your doctor before applying this cream.
Scabies Treatment at Home Naturally
Quick treatment for scabies is essential to reduce the itching and swelling on the affected skin. Apart from the medicinal treatment discussed above, you can treat mite rash using the following home remedies.
1. Apply Neem Oil
Neem has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help eliminate bacterial and fungi under your skin surface. It is a botanical pesticide that can be used to treat skin conditions including scabies. The smell of neem oil is enough to stop mites from reproducing reducing the severity of the problem. Here’s how to use neem oil.
- Apply pure neem oil on the affected skin.
- Gently massage to make the oil penetrate deep into skin.
- Do this twice daily for several weeks
- Add turmeric powder to considerable amount of neem oil. This antiseptic cream when applied on the affected skin can help soothe itch speeding up the healing process.
2. White Vinegar
The acidic nature of white vinegar is good to kill the mites under the skin surface. When the white vinegar is applied on the skin surface with mites trapped underneath, it changes the PH of the skin making it unfavorable for the female mites to survive.
- Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water in bowl
- Use cotton ball to apply the mixture on the affected skin
- Leave it for about 10 -15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm
- Do this thrice daily for weeks.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has many natural medicinal and antimicrobial properties that can help speed up the healing process problems including scabies and insect bites.
- Apply gel from freshly cut Aloe Vera plant on the affected skin
- Leave it for an hour
- Rinse it with lukewarm water
- Repeat the procedure twice or thrice daily for several weeks
4. Pure Lavender Oil
Pure Lavender oil has the ability to enhance skin cell regeneration. It can as well kill parasites like female mites that causes scabies.
- Add about 5 drops of the oil to warm bath water.
- Soak in the bath water for at least 30 minutes
- Do this daily for several weeks
- Alternatively, mix pure lavender oil and alcohol. Rub on the affected area and massage gently to allow the mixture to penetrate the skin. This will help to kill the mites, their eggs and fecal matter.
5. Neem Leaves
Leaves from neem plant can be used to cure scabies bites naturally at home. Neem leaves have antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help reduce itching. Here’s how to use neem leaves.
- Crush fresh neem leaves using pestle and a mortar
- Make a handful paste. Wash the affected area with water.
- Apply the paste on your skin with scabies
- Allow it to dry naturally. Wash it off with warm water
- Do this daily to speed up the healing process
Alternatively, boil some neem leaves. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Drink at least one tablespoon of the liquid thrice daily. Repeat the procedure for several weeks until you begin to notice changes.
Here is a video on how you can Kill Scabies
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