Scabies mites are parasitic mites, which infest human skin, and are contracted through contact with an infected person. It is usually spread by direct intimate and prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. Besides that, you can even get scabies from the most casual contact with a stranger who’s infested with scabies.
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Scabies mites are very small and cannot be seen with a naked eye. That’s the reason you cannot detect scabies crawling on your skin. But you can only get to know about scabies infection by observing the early signs and symptoms. Usually, their burrow marks are visible as curvy, grayish lines on the skin. Even rashes or pimple-like bumps reminiscent to bug bites may also indicate signs of scabies.
If you consult healthcare professionals, they will look for evidence of scabies between the fingers and toes, in the armpits, across the shoulder blades, within the inner elbows and insides of the wrists, around the breasts, waist, genitals, etc. It is a common belief that these mites are too small to elicit a crawling sensation on the skin, although the body's immune response to the mites and their increasing eggs in its burrow, leads to severe itching.
Given below are the first indicators that the scabies mites could crawl into your skin.
# Sign 1: Uncontrollable itching that’s spreading
The very first sign is that you have a spot or two, on your body that will not stop feeling itchy no matter how hard or how often you scratch it. Another sign is that you feel intense itching at night, as at night time these mites are active and burrowing into your skin or laying eggs. If it’s terribly itchy and keeping you up at night, it’s probably scabies.
# Sign 2: Rashes, Bumps, Zigzag marks!
At first, you were just itchy. Slowly, you’ll start noticing red bumps or red zigzag lines on your skin. These bumps are the little homes of scabies mites, here they lay their little eggs. The red lines are their burrows, where they dig and dig to move around to feed on. In the beginning, these bumps and ridges are likely to appear on parts of your body where the skin folds over itself. For instance, between your legs, your toes and your fingers. Inside your elbows and wrists. Genital areas and under your breasts, if you’ve any.
# Sign 3: Others around you are scratching too
You may be paying attention to your itchy body only. But also look around at your friends and family. Scabies is highly contagious and can be transmitted from one person to other through direct skin contact or indirect contact with his/her belongings. So, if you are infested with scabies mites, you can expect to see others around you scratching one or other parts of their body as well.
# Sign 4: Itching started after a trip to new place or after joining a new gym or swimming club
The chances of getting infected with scabies are higher in people living in shared spaces, such as public transport, nursing homes, hostels, community spaces etc. in under-developed nations. In case, you experience itching right after returning from a trip, it could be scabies. It may also occur after your new gym membership, new daycare for the kids, new animal care clinic, etc.
# Sign 5: There are confirmed cases of scabies in your community
In this case, even you’re likely to be infested with scabies. Get it diagnosed as soon as possible. Consult your doctor on detecting the very first sign of scabies, as it’s easier to cure it in the beginning.
If you notice any of above-mentioned symptoms, then it is time to seek doctor’s assistance and start a week long with 5% permethrin medical treatment.