Scabies is an extremely itchy skin condition, which is caused by microscopic parasitic mites, which live under your skin and make burrows to lay eggs. This produces severe itching and red rashes. These mites are not visible with a naked eye, so the only microscopic analysis is required to diagnose them. Once diagnosed, a doctor prescribes certain ointments, creams, and lotions that can be applied directly to the skin to get rid of these mites.
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Your doctor would recommend you to apply the creams or ointments at night when these mites are most active. You need to treat your entire skin as these mites may be living anywhere under your skin. So, you must apply a cream to the entire skin neck down. The medicine can be washed off the very next morning, provided you follow complete instructions of your doctor. You usually have to respect the topical treatment for 7 days continuously.
Here are some common medicines used to treat scabies:
- 5 percent permethrin cream
- 25 percent benzyl benzoate lotion
- 10 percent sulfur ointment
- 10 percent crotamiton cream
- 1 percent lindane lotion
Some additional medications, which may be prescribed to relieve some of the bothersome symptoms related to scabies, are:
- antihistamines, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or pramoxine lotion. These medicaments prevent itching.
- some antibiotics may be prescribed to kill infections that may develop as a result of constantly scratching your skin.
- steroid creams help in relieving itching and swelling.
At first, when you’re undergoing the treatment, you may feel that the symptoms are getting worse. But after the first week, you will notice less itching and even reduction in inflammation and red rashes can be observed. You will be completely healed by the fourth week of the treatment. However, there are still dead mites on your skin and that may take a while to completely eradicate from your body. Until then, you’re likely to feel itchy even after the treatment is complete.
But if the skin hasn’t healed within a month or you still feel severe itching at night, chances are that you may be re-infested with scabies mites. Therefore, it becomes important to know about the post-scabies symptoms that may last up to one month.
You immediately need to contact your doctor if you feel that the symptoms are re-occuring even after the four weeks of the treatment. In that case, you need to follow the treatment process all over again - as directed by your physician.
Here are some essential control and prevention techniques that you need to follow to eradicate itch mites completely:
How can I get rid of scabies?
Well, the best way to avoid scabies is not to make direct skin-to-skin contact with a person known to have scabies. You also must avoid using unwashed clothing or bedding, which has been used by an infested person. This is because scabies mites live without host body for up to 48 to 72 hours after. Therefore, certain precautions are needed to prevent reinfestation. You need to wash all the clothing, bedding, towels and pillow covers in hot water with temperature 122°F (50°C).
Besides washing, these items must be dried off in a dryer on very high heat for at least 10 to 30 minutes. For the objects that you cannot wash, thoroughly clean them with a good vacuum cleaner and throw the vacuum bag for cleaning with bleach and hot water. You also require bleach and hot water to properly to clean other surfaces that you may suspect to contain scabies mites.