Signs, Symptoms And Treatment Of Scabies

If you are infected with scabies for the first time, then symptoms will be visible only after two to six weeks.  The delay in pronouncement of symptoms is due to immune system which takes its time to react to the infection.  In case you had already been infected with scabies, your immune system would have learnt the way to react to the infection.  Whichever is the case, the immune system reacts by developing an itching sensation.  This sensation tends to increase in the night, especially after a hot shower.  Other symptoms include the marks left on the skin by the mites when burrowing into your skin.  Red blotches are also associated with the burrow marks.  Burrow marks can be seen anywhere on the body.  Typically in adults, they appear on the wrists, gap between the fingers or toes, armpits, around the waist, inside of elbow, buttocks, and soles of the feet, knees, shoulder blades, around the breasts in women and around the genital in men.  In children, they appear at different locations of the body including face, head, trunk, neck, scalp, palms and soles of the feet.  

Human parasite known as sarcoptes sabiei causes scabies.  A female mite burrowing into your skin marks the beginning of infestation.  It takes about 30 minutes for the mite to burrow into your skin.  Male mites then mobilize themselves into different burrow sites looking for an unfertilized female mite to mate.  Once the mating is complete, the male mite dies leaving the female mites to lay eggs.  These eggs will approximately hatch in 3-4 days.  The eggs then take about 10-15 days to transform into adult male or female mites.  If effective treatment method is not adopted, this life cycle can continue indefinitely.  It is important to know that these scabies mites are immune to soap or hot water, making it impossible to scrub it off the skin. The exact cause of the itchy sensation is yet to be identified.  However, experts believe that immune system of the body is responsible for the itchy sensation when reacting to the mites, their eggs, saliva or feces.
 
Scabies mites cannot fly or jump.  So the only possibility for its mobilization is when an infected person contacts physically another person for a prolonged time.  Any direct prolonged physical contact like sexual intercourse, sharing of bed, prolonged hand holding, etc. can invite another possible host for the mite.  Transmission by a brief physical contact is not known to transfer this parasite.  It is possible for the scabies mite to survive without a human host for about 24-36 hours when coming in contact with clothes or bed linen. Hence it is necessary to quarantine the clothes used by the infected person for a period of 72 hours to prevent its spread. Scabies can spread quickly due to delay in the manifestation of the symptom in one’s body.  In confined environment like schools or nursing homes, the risk of associating with scabies is higher. 
 
It is often regarded that scabies are often caused by poor personal hygiene and living conditions. But there is no evidence to prove this claim.  Scabies can affect people from all walks of life. 



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