Although, over-the-counter medication is available for Scabies infection, it could re-appear over and over again either because of ignorance of infected person in following the treatment strictly, ignoring guidelines, or getting wrong medical treatment. Permethrin is the most recommended insecticide against scabies infection. It’s very common for patients to complain of re-appearance of symptoms. Experts would advise you to know the difference between usual itching skin infections and scabies infestation. Knowledge about parasites behavior and causes of re-infestation would be clearer to you.
What is scabies?
It’s caused by a mite, very tiny parasite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The female scabies mite penetrates upper layer of human skin to live beneath it. It feeds on it, lays eggs, and keeps moving beneath skin surface. Severe itching and rashes appear as an allergic reaction of the body’s immune system to foreign contaminants. A person experience intense itching all the time, for weeks even after treatment and that’s why scabies is also called seven-year-itch.
Usually, in a scabies infestation, 10-12 mites are involved and each mite can lay 10-12 eggs during its lifespan. Eggs hatch within 2-3 days and grow into adults in 10-15 days. If not terminated, the reproduction cycle continues, resulting in mite-population rise.
Scabies mites can travel from one human to other either due to direct skin contact with the infected person or his/her belongings, like cloths, towel, accessories etc. The mite can survive without host body for 2-3 days, hiding in clothing or bedding. It crawls onto anyone who comes in contact with infested objects. Even a handshake can transmit parasites to other person.
Symptoms of Scabies
Another problem that makes scabies such a trouble is that its symptoms can take few weeks or over a month to appear after patient’s first contact with mites. Following are the symptoms to look for if you doubt scabies infection:
Sever itching that increases at night
Once infested with scabies mite, the host would experience consistent and severe itching. The tell-tale sign of scabies is that itching gets intense at night. In order to survive and to be active, scabies mites require temperature above 7-8 degree Celsius. During night, in bedding, the temperature is ideal for their movement.
Burrows and Red Bumps
As this parasite is capable of tunneling into human skin, it leads to creation of burrows which become more visible after scratching the infected part of skin. Then, there are red bumps, which are actually home to mite’s eggs.
As infected person scratches his skin, very thin zigzag lines would be unveiled. These lines would appear to have originated from one bump and traveled to another. These lines are caused due to tunneling being carried out by the parasite under the skin.
Common treatment procedure mostly includes 5% permethrin cream that requires repeated application on skin for about a month. Permethrin is an insecticide. Alternative lotions recommended by doctors, in case permethrin fails, are Ivermectin, malathion, lindane, benzyl benzoate, crotamiton.
Other Alternative Treatments
There are some specific products, like creams and lotions that are considered effective in curing scabies. Other than traditional medication, DrScabies cream is one of the most recommended remedy by doctors.
Other alternative treatments include home remedies, like tea tree oil that contains terpinen-4-ol that can terminate the mites.
Neem oil is also a botanical pesticide that is commonly used in treating skin problems. Neem leaves also possess antibacterial and antifungal properties and is recommended for scabies treatment.
Zinc is used to prevent fungal outbreaks and secondary skin conditions. Cayenne Pepper can also be used to burn and kill the mites.
Turmeric is a wonder herb with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and can prove quite helpful in provide relief from scabies symptoms.