Scabies is highly contagious skin infection that occurs from direct skin-to-skin contact with the infested person. It can spread from sexual contact, but scabies is not a side effect of HIV, neither it is associated with HIV/AIDS. However, people with HIV have depressed immune system, and their body is unable to fight the mites. As a result, these itch mites rapidly increase under their skin, leading to severe crusting or other serious skin conditions. Therefore, people with depressed immunity needs to be highly careful about this skin mite and need special treatment.
Scabies is the skin reaction caused by immune responses to a small mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. The itch mites are nothing but tiny eight-legged parasites that live on a host body for survival. This infectious skin mite burrows into the skin to lay eggs that rapidly hatches, and start reproducing and increasing in numbers in just three to four weeks. In response to these increasing mites, body of the infested person starts forming rashes in the hands, groin, or other skin surfaces. You must immediately consult a doctor as soon as the skin condition is detected otherwise it will keep growing and cause severe skin infections.
Scabies is contagious skin disease that spread from prolonged skin-to-skin contact, including holding hands, intimate personal contact, and sharing clothing, bedding, or towels of the infested person. As scabies is transmitted through direct physical contact, so family members are at higher risk of catching scabies from the person who already has been infected with it. Other than homes, scabies is mostly spread in crowded areas like schools, nursing homes, sports common rooms, prisoner cells, etc.
To diagnose scabies, doctors mostly perform a simple a physical exam by inspecting the affected area of skin. A sample of affected area is taken for microscopic observation, where doctors examine tiny burrows that are formed by itch mites to lay eggs. The doctor usually scrapes off a small section of skin to obtain a tissue sample. This tissue sample is tested for examining tiny itch mites under skin.
The treatment of scabies is done soon after diagnosis and it’s recommended to follow the given instructions carefully to get rid of these annoying itch mites. Some of the commonly prescribed medicines for scabies treatments are as follows:
- 5-percent permethrin cream
- 25-percent benzyl benzoate lotion
- 10-percent sulphur ointment
- 10-percent Crotamiton cream
- 1-percent lindane lotion
In case all above mentioned creams or lotions don’t work for treating scabies, oral Ivermectin medicine is prescribed to the infested person. Generally, two to three doses of this Ivermectin are enough to completely eradicate all scabies mites. But this medicine is not prescribed to pregnant or nursing women.
The treatment is recommended to be repeated until scabies mites are completely eradicated from the body of infested person. Itchiness will not go away as soon as the treatment is finished. But that doesn’t mean the treatment has worked, sometimes it may take four weeks for itch to go way. In case one or two treatments have not worked out for you, then see the doctor again for further treatment to get rid of scabies.
Bedding and clothes coming in directed contact with the infested person should be washed in hot water. Otherwise, simply hang all the used clothes including bedsheets and blankets in sun. This will eventually kill all the itchy parasites after two days. This is because scabies parasites cannot survive for long without a host body.