Have you ever wondered what exactly the condition of scabies is all about? Many know it is something associate with the skin, but they may not know how long it lasts and how serious it is. Well, scabies can be extremely serious, since it is an infection on the skin which can last for a long time, sometimes even months in severe cases.
The cause of this disease is a type of tiny parasite which buries itself into the skin tissue. This results in painful inflammation which causes severe itching. These parasites are usually not able to be seen without a microscope.
So, how does one acquire scabies? You don’t need to be in a tropical jungle to get a parasite like this. In fact, you can get scabies just from touching a doorknob that someone with the disease touched. The parasite lives in the skin of an infected person, so it can be transmitted to a doorknob or any object if it is near the skin when the infected person touches that object. Once the parasite is on a new host, it can begin to burrow itself into the epithelial cells and infect the skin.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should assume every doorknob has scabies on it. This can lead to severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Scabies is not exactly rare, but catching it from a doorknob is not exactly common.
The most common symptom of scabies is itching. The itching is persistent and typically worse at night, since a person is not distracted by as many things when they are relaxing at home. Once this desire to itch has begun, sores can occur on the skin and make the condition worse, leaving the skin prone to bacteria and infection.
Rash is also an extremely common symptom. The parasites can cause such skin inflammation, and this is often one of the most visible characteristics of scabies to doctors trying to diagnose the problem. Early on in the disease, diagnosis can be difficult, since the symptoms are similar to various other skin conditions. One thing that doctors often try to look for is a “trail” around a skin sore. This is a common sign that a scabies mite has been to the sore, since they burrow through the outer layer of skin.
How are scabies treated? Typically, a doctor prescribes medication after making a definitive diagnosis of the condition. The most popular treatment for scabies is Permethrin, which a patient can put on their skin before they go to bed at night. They then shower in the morning to remove the Permethrin from the skin. Just performing this treatment once is often good enough to get rid of scabies in minor infections of the disease. More treatments may be recommended by doctors in severe cases. This topical medication can cause skin irritation, so it is important to not do too many treatments of it. Permethrin is also known to be quite expensive, so it is something many patients try to use sparingly.
When treating for scabies, doctors usually recommend that everyone who lives in the house of the patient be treated for the condition. This can limit the chances that reinfection can occur.