Often we are mistaken by itch or scratching and consider it as a normal skin allergy. But every time your itchiness cannot be out of a routine skin allergy. Even highly expert doctors overlook these symptoms and treat the patient for other skin problems. This sometimes, results into worsening of the skin condition and making it difficult to get over the treatment faster.
If a person experiences itching, the doctor must closely examine the condition and accordingly decide the treatment. Since itching can be caused due to a widespread infection these days- scabies, therefore, the signs of itching should be taken as very seriously. Doctors should definitely do the ink test or use the skin scrapings for detecting the scabies mite. The initial scabies treatments start with Permethrin cream but if relief doesn’t happen through it then generally oral ivermectin is given.
Scabies is a communicable disease causes by the human itch mite called as Sarcoptes scabiei, which is microscopic in nature. The mites are tiny creatures that create deep burrows inside the human skin where they lay eggs and continue to spread through the whole body until treated properly.
Any physical contact with a scabies patient for over 15-20 minutes gives space for the mites to transfer and infest in the other person’s body. Other means of transfer of mites is by sharing or using the patients’ clothing, bedding, even furniture or anything touched by the patient.
On an average a person infested with scabies will have about 10-15 mites on the body which if left untreated can convert to a highly contagious form of scabies. If the early signs of itching are ignored then it can become really difficult to eradicate all the mites from the body.
Although it takes 2-3 weeks for the symptoms to fully show up but the moment a person comes in contact with someone suffering from scabies, he should immediately start with the treatment.
Scabies is highly contagious in places where many people are working together and physical contact is easily feasible such as in nursing homes. Rather it is like a mini epidemic which infests both the staff and the people over there making it difficult to get over it faster.
There are few tests that confirm the presence of scabies mites over the human body provided your GP should do it.
- Ink test
This is generally the first test done by the doctors for scabies treatment. The idea behind the test is that the ink makes the burrows visible by highlighting them.
How it is done?
The process for the ink test is simple. The ink is rubbed over the itchy area and then wiped off mostly with an alcohol pad. After that the alcohol pad is checked for the ink, if there is ink on the alcohol pad then it confirms the person is not infected with scabies.
But if there is no ink found on the pad, then probably the ink is found on the skin where it darkens the burrows created by the scabies mites. The darkened area represents the burrows created by the scabies mites and confirms their presence on the body.
- Scrap test
This is another way to confirm the presence of scabies mites on the body.
How it is done?
In this some portion of the skin is scraped off and examined under the microscope. Since the scabies mites are microscopic in nature, therefore this skin sample may help in detecting the mites, if present.
- Checking for other skin infections
The itch can be caused due to multiple skin infections such as impetigo and eczema which show similar symptoms as scabies.
Therefore, doctors should also check for the symptoms of these diseases as well to start the right treatment for the disease.
Treating the scabies’ mite
There are many medicines and lotions available for scabies in the market. To start with, doctors prescribe the 5%permethrin cream which is easily available as an over the counter drug in the market. Dr Scabies is a popular scabies treatment cream which is made from natural herbs and treats scabies effectively without causing any side-effects.
The most important point about scabies treatment is: If a person is diagnosed with scabies, all persons in the vicinity of that person should be treated with scabies. This applies to all household members, sexual partners or anyone who comes is physical contact with the patient.
- Everything used by the person has to be disinfected on daily basis including bed sheets, pillow covers, handkerchiefs and whatever the patient uses in a day. Even the TV remote, air conditioners remote has to be covered in a saran wrap.
- Things which can be avoided for use for few days should be wrapped in a sealed bag and kept away for few days.
- Proper medication and follow-up should happen regularly.
- While applying the cream take care that it reaches between the fingers, natal cleft, feet, genital area and the armpits.
- Hot water bath is always avoided after applying the cream as it can intensify the itching. It’s best to take a cool water bath till you are not back to your normal state.
- Decontaminate the whole house using the vacuum cleaner and then throw away the scrap in a sealed bag.