Scabies is caused by infestation of Sarcoptes scabiei mite that burrows into human skin. It lays its eggs inside human skin and moves around feeding on host’s skin. The symptoms appear as an allergic reaction of the body in attempt to defend itself against foreign invaders. Although, medication is available, but scabies can takes weeks, sometimes months to complete cure. The symptoms start appearing after weeks of infestations and continue to intensify with passage of time. That’s why early diagnose of Scabies is a difficult task. Still, one needs to pay attention to some specific symptoms of scabies for early detection.
Early Signs and Symptoms
Under this skin condition, the infested person would experience an uncontrollable itching, and it continues to increase until treated properly. This itching is more intense as compared to usual itching. It’s would appear like the body can’t take it anymore and infested person would be left with no other option but to scratch. The itching is so bad that infested person could end up creating wound on skin due to rough and constant scratching.
At night, itching reaches its peak as higher temperature is favorable for mite’s activity. Also, at night, there are lesser distractions and infested person would not be able to ignore it anymore. The itching won’t go despite using common anti-bacterial creams or lotions because they could barely make contact with mites living underneath first layer of human skin.
In case of scabies, itching might start from one point, like around the crotch or between thighs, and infested person might mistake it for another allergic reaction. But it just keeps spreading and you experience same itching on greater area.
Appearance of zigzag lines
As it tunnels continuously into the skin and move to other parts, mite leaves very thin zigzag lines, which suggest parasites direction of movement. It’s more clearly visible to naked eyes after the infested part is scratched.
Scabies mites lay eggs during their life-span, and the red bumps are home to mite’s eggs. A mite can lay 2-3 eggs at a time and 10-12 eggs during its entire lifespan. The eggs hatches within 2-3 days and grows into adult mites within 12-15 days. That’s how the number continues to increase and reproduction cycle is also multiplied. If not terminated, the condition can get horrible. Scabies takes its worst form in people with weak immune system, like in people living with HIV/AIDS. It’s called crusted scabies. In crusted scabies, person can has millions of mites under the skin as compared to average 5-10 mites in normal cases.
Others around you are scratching too
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 mite, expect to see others around you scratching one or other parts of their body.
Itching started after trip to third world nation or after sharing space?
The chances of getting infested with scabies are higher in people living in shared spaces, public transport, nursing homes, hostels, community spaces etc. in under-developed nations. In case, you experience itching right after returning back from a trip, it could be scabies.
If you notice any of above mentions symptoms, then it’s better to seek doctor assistance and start week long 5% permethrin medical treatment.