Is it just a simple rash or is it scabies?
Everyone gets a rash from time to time, maybe because of a dry skin, of the cold weather or because of allergies, but the rash can also be caused by scabies. Scabies is a contagious disease produced by microscopic insects called mites also known as Sarcoptes Scabei, which shelter under the skin and deposit eggs. Due to this, itching will install along with small red marks and blisters all over the fingers, elbows and thighs. Scabies must be properly treated otherwise other skin infections might occur.
Scabies mites are very small; they are about 0.4 mm long and the naked eye can not see them. A magnifying glass could be helpful in finding them.
The female insect is attracted by warm and moist areas of the body where she will lay her eggs for about five weeks. If the treatment is delayed, the eggs will eventually hatch and so the infection will continue to spread.
Scabies is easy to get infected with. By a prolonged hug or contact with an infected person insects or eggs can be transferred to you. That is why roommates, family members and sexual partners are the first ones who scabies will infect. Also, those who live in crowded places and unsanitary conditions might get affected by this disease too. Children in orphanages and in nursing centers are at risk to get the disease.
Scabies can not be transmitted from pets even if they have the infection. Animals are affected by a different type of scabies which is not transmittable to humans.
The signs of scabies are: intense itching especially at night, red marks and blisters over the fingers, the elbows, the wrists and all around the waist.
Usually the symptoms appear after one month since the contamination was done but if a person has suffered before of scabies the symptoms will appear after a few days.
If left untreated scabies can produce several skin infections due to intense scratching. These are known as impetigo. Another type of scabies is the Crusted or Norwegian Scabies. In this case the patientís skin is covered with millions of mites and looks like a crust.
The treatment consists on applying a lotion all over the body, from neck to toes after washing properly your body. This lotion will be applied before bedtime and will be cleaned off only in the morning. During this time the insects and eggs will be killed. This treatment will last for seven to ten days. The rash will disappear within a few days but the rash might persist for another two weeks.
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