Scabies Scabies Mite As Seen Under A Microscope
Scabies is an extremely distressing, but easily treatable, skin condition, caused by a tiny microscopic mite called Sarcoptes Scabiei. Although individual mites live only a few weeks, as its burrows along under the skin, the female mite will lay eggs, spreading the condition. Scabies is highly contagious.
Scabies causes constant itching, which is usually more apparent at night. The skin may be red with tiny bite-like bumps. There may be blisters and it may be possible to see the tiny, sporadic, trail of the mite as it travels along under the skin’s surface. Because scabies is so itchy, the blisters may easily break and become infected. In some, large areas of the body may become crusted and scaly. Scabies is easily spread among family members, school children, and in group homes and seniors homes. Anyone with scabies should avoid contact with others until the condition subsides.
Although Scabies may be present on any part of the body, it tends to occur, at least initially, in warm folded areas of the body such as between the fingers and toes, under the breasts, in the genital area, and in the arm pits. Although anyone, regardless of sex, race, or age, can become infected with scabies, those with compromised immune systems, the very young, and the elderly, need extra attention, especially if their scabies becomes crusted and scaly.
In order to rule out any other possible skin conditions or diseases that have symptoms similar to scabies, it is important to see your family physician if you have any concerns about itching or rash. Your physician will ascertain if you have scabies by your visible symptoms and your oral report. If he can find a mite trail he may do a skin scraping for analysis. It is likely that treatment will begin immediately as even a scraping analysis may not give a definitive solution.
The treatment for scabies consists of applying a medicated solution over the skin. There are several solutions, as well as oral medications available. Your doctor will prescribe what he considers best for you as an individual. It is important to follow instructions carefully to deal with the mite, but not to harm the skin. Itching may persist for some time after the mites have been eliminated so do not be concerned. Consult your pharmacist for over-the-counter preparations to sooth this residual itching.
Because of the contagious character of scabies, your physician may recommend treating all those that live in the household. These treatments may vary depending on age and physical health.
In addition to eliminating the mite from the body, you must also ensure that none remain on your clothing or body. Wash all bedding in extra hot water and dry on high heat. Any items that are not washable should be dry cleaned or sealed in plastic for at least a week. This will destroy any existing mites as they cannot survive long without a host.
It is impossible to totally avoid the scabies mite. However, as with any condition, personal cleanliness, healthy living, and proper medical attention are your best defense.