Scabies treatment

Scabies is much more than an irritating rash. Scabies is caused by a mite called the Sarcoptes scabiei. It is a parasite with eight legs and is only 1/3 of a millimeter in size. These irritating mites burrow under your skin and cause intolerable itching to the skin. The mites are typically not visible, but the telltale burrow marks can be a sign of the mite’s presence. There is a scabies treatment that is very effective and simple, but it is first necessary to diagnose the condition.

The mites transfer from person to person through close skin to skin contact. It is usually transmitted through sexual contact as casual hand holding and shaking hands is typically not enough to transfer the mites. Blankets and the bedding on your bed are another way that the mites can be transferred.

The symptoms of scabies are an intense itching and small red bumps in the area of infestation. You may also be able to see the burrows or tunnels that the mites have created in the skin. They can be very tiny and difficult to see, but may appear to be red or gray in color. The most common symptom for scabies is the intense itching which becomes worse at night. In the beginning of the infestation, the itching will be mild and over time it will become more intense. Some people with scabies have difficulty sleeping because of the itch.

The scabies treatment that your doctor will prescribe is a cream that will kill the mites. It is applied from the neck down at night and then washed off in the morning. It will be repeated for seven days to ensure that the mites are killed. There are two creams that may be prescribed for your scabies treatment. Elmite or Lindane is the two most common treatments for scabies. Lindane is usually not used if there is significant irritation of the skin because it can cause seizures when it is absorbed through the skin. Because of the danger of this side effect, it is usually used when other treatments such as Elmite cannot be tolerated.

Another scabies treatment that is used as an alternative to creams is ivermectin. This is an oral medication that is not as effective as Elmite and it can also have side effects. The doctor will prescribe a single dose of the drug and then a follow up dose after two weeks.

Your bed linen and clothing will have to be washed in hot water. Scabies mites do not live long when apart from your body, so washing in hot water is sufficient to eliminate them from your clothing and risking re-infestation.

The scabies treatment will take a few days to provide relief. When the treatment begins to produce relief, the change will be dramatic. However, if you are not feeling relief after a couple of weeks of your scabies treatment, the diagnosis may be incorrect.

One of the problems with scabies is misdiagnosis. Often the red bumps and itching are mistaken for mosquito bites or dermatitis, but over time when the itching becomes more intense, a visit to the doctor for a diagnosis and prescribed scabies treatment is necessary.

It is also important while you are using your scabies treatment that you avoid contact with those that you may infest with scabies. Sexual contact should be avoided until the treatment is complete.

Even though scabies is an irritating condition and can cause difficulty with sleep, there is an effective scabies treatment that will eliminate the mites. The most important part of your scabies treatment is to avoid being re-infested with the mites and have to start the treatment over again.

Last updated on Aug 19th, 2009 and filed under Skin Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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