If you’re confused that who are more likely to get infested by scabies - kids or adults, then let us tell you that this skin condition can affect anyone. From infants and kids to adults, the scabies mites can attack anyone’s skin - no matter you’re clean, dirty, rich or poor. These are just tiny parasites that need human skin to survive and grow.
These mites are most commonly found in places like college dorms, camps, classrooms, and childcare centres. The mites can spread more easily in crowded places, as in crowded areas people are likely to get in close contact with each other. When people come in close contact, especially direct skin contact, these mites will transfer immediately from infested person to another person. So, scabies just spread from someone who is already infested to someone who is not.
Scabies is an extremely itchy skin condition that’s caused by tiny itch mites that dig tunnels or burrows underneath the skin's surface. These mites belong to arachnid family, the same family that includes spiders and ticks. The scabies mites also have eight legs and a round body. One cannot see these mites from the naked eye. Only microscopic examination shows the presence of these mites when they are fully grown.
Mainly female mites dig under the top layer of your skin to lay eggs and die after about a month. Once the eggs hatch, new mites start growing and come to the skin surface. Furthermore, females mate with the males, then the males die and the females dig back under the skin to lay new eggs. This is how the life cycle keep going on and takes just two to three weeks to show symptoms.
The major symptoms of a scabies infection include immense itching and tiny burrows on first layer of the skin. The burrows are nothing but tracks where female mites lay eggs. At first the signs may seem like a mosquito-bite, but slowly when the number of mites will start increasing the redness, rashes and itching will get severe. The host can develop the symptoms as a reaction to the mites' presence over time. It may take four to six weeks between the onset of infestation and the start of itching.
Itching: Extreme itching at night is the first sign of infestation. The itching increases at night because mites are most active at night time. This time these mites are digging burrows under your skin, which leads to severe itching. Due to itching redness on skin also appears.
Rashes: Due to severe itching, infested person is likely to scratch their skin and that causes skin rashes. It may appear like a normal skin rash. But after a while, when symptoms will increase the rashes will also increase on the skin.
Five-percent Permethrin cream is the most effective treatment for scabies, and prescribed by most skin doctors. It is meant to be applied from the neck down, before bedtime and must be left on the skin for about eight to 14 hours or overnight, and then washed off in the morning.
Another effective treatment for scabies is oral Ivermectin medicine. It is given to patients that don’t show any signs of improvement after Permethrin treatment. A single dose of this medicine is enough to eradicate scabies. This treatment is usually prescribed in combination with a topical agent. But this is not recommended to kids and pregnant or nursing women.