Scabies is a skin condition that can attack anyone no matter how clean, dirty, rich or poor you’re. It is caused by a contagious parasite that spreads from one person to another through the prolonged skin-to-skin contact. However, children are more prone to contracting this infection from schools or daycare centers - as these spaces have common shared areas where scabies mites might be living for up to 48-72 hours without a host body.
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These mites can also be found in other places like college dorms, classrooms, and childcare centers. So these are more likely to spread in crowded places as chances are that people may get in close contact with each other - transferring these mites from one infested person to a non-infested person.
Scabies is caused by parasitic itch mites that may burrow into the skin to live and lay eggs. Mainly the female mites dig into the surface of your skin to lay eggs and die after a month. The eggs then hatch and turn into larvae that further grow into adults to come back to the skin surface to proceed their life cycle. It takes about two to three weeks for an infested person to show symptoms of scabies.
Signs and Symptoms
The major symptom of scabies is intense itching that occurs due to the life cycle of these mites. The itching becomes extreme at night because at this time these mites are most active. At first, you may mistake them for mosquito-bite, but slowly when these mites start growing there will be symptoms in form of redness, rashes, and crusty skin. The symptoms of scabies are same in both adults and children. However, in case of babies, the infection may even spread to their face, but this is not seen in adults.
Scabies mites cannot leave the human body without treatment and if left untreated, they may lead to certain secondary skin infections. These secondary skin infections can further affect your health and may even be fatal. Following are the ways treatment is provided to babies and grownups.
Treating babies (under 2 months old)
Permethrin is not recommended for treatment of babies less than 2 months of age. This is because it as harsh insecticides to kill scabies mites and those chemicals may not be good for the skin of a newborn baby. So, they are given alternative treatments that are less harmful to their skin.
Eurax lotion or cream contains 10% crotamiton and it’s considered a better alternative for scabies treatment of newly borns. It provides a soothing effect to their skin and even moisturizes their skin. Even Dr. Scabies can be used on infants as it only contains natural ingredients to treat scabies.
Treating children (over 2 months old) and adults
Children older than two months can be given the standard 5% permethrin treatment that’s also recommended for adults. For treatment, this cream needs to be applied at night and washed off in the morning. It needs to be applied to the entire body, leaving eyes and mouth.
In cases that don’t show up signs of improvement with permethrin, oral Ivermectin medicine is prescribed to them. A single dose of this medicine is powerful enough to eradicate scabies. This oral medicine is usually prescribed along with a topical agent to work both ways in killing the itch mites. It indeed is a powerful medicine, so not recommended for children as well as pregnant or nursing mothers.
Hope this article was useful in educating you about the treatment of scabies, and about how these mites can be eradicated from the body.