Scabies is not a disease with a good image because it is associated with poor hygiene, but it is an infection that can be contracted more efficiently than is believed. In fact, due to the covid pandemic, we are currently experiencing an upturn in incidence.
Experts aren’t sure what’s causing this increase but point to the increased time spent at home with other people and delays in medical care.
Scabies is a parasitic plague in which Sarcoptes scabei mites lair under the skin and cause intense itching, often inferior at night.
Symptoms may include hives-like skin rashes that first appear between the fingers or on the elbows, knees, wrists, buttocks, around the breasts, in the male genital area, or on the waist.
Mites Can Also Burrow Under Your Fingernails
Scabies itches because the immune system responds to the presence of the mites, their eggs, and their debris. One complication is secondary infection by bacteria (staphylococci or streptococci), in which wounds can be caused by scratching. These infections cause redness, swelling, warmth, and pain, as well as a honey-coloured ooze of pus.
Scabies can become a severe problem in people with weakened immune systems and in people who live in rehabilitation centres and nursing homes.
If the condition becomes chronic, a more severe and highly contagious form of scabies called crusted scabies or “Norwegian scabies” can develop, which origins a hard, scaly rash that covers large parts of the body and can be hard to treat.
What Are The Causes Of Scabies?
Sarcoptes scabei is a microscopic eight-legged mite. The females burrow just under the skin, creating a tunnel to lay their eggs. The eggs mature in about three weeks, after which the new mites hatch and can feast on other areas of the skin or others.
Close physical interaction and, less often, sharing clothing or bedding with an infected person can spread the mites.
Mites can animate for up to a month on the human body but cannot survive more than 48 to 72 hours elsewhere, and washing kills them.
One type of mange affects pets, but people cannot get it because it is caused by a different mite that does not survive on the human body.
What Is The Conventional Treatment?
It is always necessary for a doctor to diagnose to avoid confusion. Some people may believe they have scabies when dermatitis or other skin conditions.
Conventional medicine treats scabies with permethrin, lindane, or malathion. They are potent insecticides available only by prescription. The application of a cream with 5% permethrin is usually prescribed. It is applied all over the body, left on for 8-12 hours and then washed off with a shower.
Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe the antiparasitic drug ivermectin, taken by mouth.
This treatment eliminates the mites, although itching can persist for several weeks as the immune system continues to respond to the presence of eggs, debris, and dead mites. To reduce this itching, antihistamines may be prescribed.
The insecticides used to treat scabies can cause side effects (for example, cause asthma, especially in children). In the worst case, an excess in the dose could harm the nervous system since it is treat with neurotoxic substances.
Scabies Natural Treatment
Scabies cannot be treat only with more hygiene or the application of balsamic creams. It is essential to eradicate the mite, but it is worth consulting with the doctor for the initial application of gentle treatment.
- A specialist in integrative medicine proposes two options:
- Apply a cream with 1% permethrin (you can prepare it at the pharmacy)
Use tea tree oil (neem, obtained from the Azadirachta indica tree ) diluted in base oil in equal parts (for example. One tablespoon of tea tree oil and one tablespoon of sweet almond or olive oil).
You can find neem oil at health food stores and organic stores. Make definite it is pure essential oil, if possible organically produced.
You can apply certified natural calendula balms or the traditional Chinese remedy Tiger Balm to treat the itching.
You Can Also Apply Wipes Moistened In Cold Water To The Irritated Areas.
Once the mite infection has been eliminating. A relaxation technique, visualisation, or meditation can be performe to reduce itching and balance the immune response. Breathing exercises and yoga also help.
Prevention Of Infection With Scabies
To avoid reinfestation and the spread of mites to other people Wash all clothes. Towels and bedding used in the three days before treatment with hot water (60ºC at least) and detergent. If you have a dryer, use it at a high temperature.
Items you don’t want to wash or dry. On high heat can be store in a tightly close bag for two weeks. Also, carefully vacuum the entire house and dispose of the vacuum bag.