It is a mite disease that has been seen in humans for at least 2500 years. Every year, 300 million people are diagnosed with scabies all over the world. This disease can be seen in all ages and races, regardless of personal hygiene. However, since good diagnosis and treatment methods have been developed, scabies has ceased to be a permanent disease.
How does scabies develop?
A microscopic mite rarely visible to the human eye causes disease. This mite is barely visible to the human eye. It has 8 thin legs, a flat body and makes a tunnel in the skin. An allergic reaction develops a few weeks after it enters the skin. As a result, itching occurs, especially at night.
Human scabies is transmitted from person to person by close contact. The contagious person may be a friend or family member. The disease is more common in low-income families with poor hygiene. Although it can be seen more frequently in individuals with poor hygiene who live in crowded places, it can be seen in everyone.
As the female mite burrows through the skin, she lays her eggs and secretes a liquid that causes an allergic reaction. Larvae and juvenile mites migrate to the skin surface and grow to become an adult mite. If a mite is scraped from the skin, it lives for approximately 24 hours. One month after the disease is infected, the person with scabies begins to itch.
How is the disease recognized?
The earliest and most obvious finding is itching, especially at night. In the early period, red blisters, hives-like rashes and water blisters may be seen. In advanced cases, the skin is crusty and scaly.
Scabies is more common in fold areas where the skin is warmer. Between the fingers, wrists and elbows, hips and belly area, chest area and penis are common areas. Also, mites tend to be found under rings, bracelets and watches, and under fingernails. In children, the disease tends to affect the whole body, including the hands, soles of the feet, and face.
Children are tired because they cannot sleep during the night because of itching. Bacterial infection may develop secondary to itchy areas. Many pediatric patients are treated not for scabies, but for their secondary bacterial infection. Although treating the bacterial infection may provide some relief, the disease recurs as the scabies is not treated.
Who has more risk?
Scabies is common in families with children who are in close contact with each other, children staying in boarding places, and the elderly living in nursing homes. Children under the age of two and family members with close contact are at risk in familial cases of scabies.
In the Elderly – Scabies seen in the elderly living in nursing homes creates a big problem in terms of late diagnosis and confusion with other diseases. Due to this delay, the disease is also transmitted to other elderly people. As the elderly need help in their daily activities, caregivers are also at risk for the disease.
For the successful elimination of scabies, the following are necessary:
- Consult a doctor as soon as possible to start treatment.
- Although the thought of getting scabies may make you uncomfortable, remember that scabies has nothing to do with personal hygiene.
- People who have the disease and are close to it should be treated.
- Since the incubation period of the disease is 6-8 weeks, the signs of the disease are not seen immediately.
- If everyone is not treated, the disease cannot be controlled.
- Apply the medicine all over from the neck to the toes.
- If you wash your hands after the application, you should apply the medicine to your hands again.
- Wash all your personal belongings.
- Dry the clothes you do not want to wash in the dryer for 30 minutes or take them to dry cleaning.
- Pets do not need to be treated.
- Itching may persist for a week or two after successful treatment of the disease.
- If the items are placed in a plastic bag and left for two weeks, the mites die because they cannot feed.
- Bed linen and covers should be washed.