Problem: My 15-year son has red bumps on his wrist. The bumps itch extremely badly at night and they bleed very easily when he scratches them. These red bumps seem to get worse on scratching, and contract back down as he quit messing with them. I’m really worried for my son. I’m afraid he has got scabies!
Expert Advice: It seems your son has Scabies really. For exact diagnosis, I’d suggest you to take him to physician as soon as possible. It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without investigation. However, for your information, I am discussing here the major visual symptoms of scabies. Check whether your son possesses these and take medications accordingly.
What is scabies actually?
Scabies is an infestation caused by the tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei, which reside in the outer layers of human skin. The mites gradually burrow and lay eggs inside the skin leading to harsh itching and angry rashes.
Scabies throughout their history has been known as "the itch". Intense itching is most often the first, likely in your case, and the most prevalent scabies symptom. The scabies including the hands, webbing, back, sides of the fingers, skin folds of the wrist, etc, affects many different parts of the body. Also, small pink or red bumps that look like tiny bites or acne marks are the first visible signs of scabies.
What are the symptoms of scabies?
In the early stages of scabies, often people get confused between other skin ailments like acne, mosquito bites or scabies, as the rashes look similar. But, the relentless itch sets scabies part from these skin conditions.
Among the major symptoms of scabies, the below mentioned ones are common.
- Itching - The main symptom of scabies, often sever. Itching tends to be in one place at first, and then gradually spreading to other body areas. Generally, the itching is worse at night.
- Rashes - Rashes usually appear immediately after the itch starts. Rashes can be identified easily as blotchy, and bumpy. Rashes are often most obvious on the inside of the thighs, abdomen, buttocks, perennial areas and armpits. Although the appearance of these rashes is often typical, some people develop unusual rashes which make them confuse with other skin conditions.
- Scratching - Intense itching leads to scratching that can cause minor skin damage. This damaged skin sometimes becomes infected by other germs and becomes a secondary skin infection. The skin turns red, tender, and inflamed due to the infection caused by the germs.
- Mite burrows - Seen on the skin as fine, dark lines, about 2-10 mm long. They can occur on any part of the skin. It is difficult to notice these burrows until a rash or itch develops. Burrows are created when female mites reside just under the surface of the skin. Each female lays 10 to 25 eggs inside after creating the burrow. The burrows can be seen clearly with a microscope.
|Small "burrows" under the surface of skin|
|Sores caused by scratching|
|Rashes, redness, or irritation on the skin, especially on the wrists, webbing between fingers, elbow, knee, shoulder blades, breasts or genitals|
|Relentless itching (which may become more intense at night)|
|Unable to sleep because of itching and the feeling of things crawling on you or under your skin|
Have a look at the table and match the symptoms with that of your son. If 3 or more symptoms match, 97% chances are there that he has scabies. But, don’t worry. Scabies is curable. Take your son to the doctor, get him diagnosed and take proper medications and preventive measures accordingly.