Scabies is a skin disease caused by itch mites sarcoptes scabi. It is a contagious disease causing severe itching. Scabies symptoms typically involve finger webs, wrist, armpits, groin area, elbow, ankle, nipple and areola in females. The scabies mite feed on human blood. It burrows in the upper layer of skin, feeds on blood and even lays eggs.
Scabies mites are spread from direct skin to skin contact with an infected person. It can also spread through other means such as contact with clothing, bed sheet, towel etc contaminated by an infected person.
There are several skin disease that cause itching and rash on skin, but if you know the peculiarity of scabies bites you can identify the disease.
Symptoms Of Scabies Bites On Humans
The clinical features of scabies bites are as follows:
- Severe itching particularly at night is the main symptom. Intense itching prevents patient to sleep well. It makes him more irritable and anxious.
- The scabies rash is red and appears as tiny pimples on the affected area of the body.
- Typical itching and rash occurs in finger webs, elbow, wrist, genitals, armpit, upper thigh, knees, ankle, and breast region in females. Itching and rash is also common in folds of buttocks and umbilical area.
- In infants and children itching and rash is more common on palms, scalp, face, and sole. Usually in adults these areas are spared.
- Scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of skin and lays eggs. These leads to formation of waxy lines on the surface of skin.
How Do You Get Scabies Mite Bites?
Scabies mites are whitish hemispherical creatures. The male mite is much smaller than the female mite. It cannot be seen with naked eyes in most cases, especially when it lives in the skin burrow. After copulation the female lays egg in the burrow. After 3 to 4 days larvae emerge out of the egg and come out on the skin surface. Within 3 months it becomes mature to copulate.
Scabies mite does not have wings and it spreads with its pairs of legs. Transmission usually occurs through direct skin to skin contact from an infected person. Scabies mite also transmits from use of contaminated bed sheets, clothing, and towels. People living in overcrowded places are vulnerable to develop this infection. Children attending in day care centers, sexually active adults have greater risk of contracting the disease.
How To Diagnose Scabies Infestation?
Finding of burrows in the skin is one of the prominent features of scabies mites. The typical distribution in vulnerable areas such as between the web of fingers, groin, folds of buttock, around nipple and areola in females, armpits etc is suggestive finding in case of scabies. Patient has typical nighttime itching in these areas.
There is similar history of this condition in family and contacts. All the above findings provide clue for scabies. The mite is tiny but it can be visualized with the help of magnifying glass. The mites can also be detected after the scarping from the burrow is seen under the microscope.
Treatment Options For Scabies Bites
Scabies is a treatable condition. Generally topical cream and ointment containing specific medicines that kill the arthropod is used to treat scabies. Cream or medicine is applied over the entire body below the neck after a scrub bath. The medicine is generally applied at night before sleeping. In the morning patient must clean his hands and fingers and take warm bath so as to clean his body. Application may need to be applied for few days. Patient has to take care that his hands are washed thoroughly before eating anything.
There are several home remedies if the person wants to opt for to relieve the symptoms.
Tea tree oil is an effective home remedy for treating symptoms of scabies, especially itching and rash. Add few drops of tea tree oil in carrier oil such as coconut oil. Apply it over the skin. Although tea tree oil is effective in alleviating the symptoms, it is not effective in killing the eggs that lie deep inside the skin burrow. Hence patient must take scrub bath.
Aloe vera has natural soothing qualities. Its anti bacterial qualities are also well known. Aloe vera will help to alleviate intense itching and rashes on skin that are present after bite from the itch mite.