Scabies is a common skin infection that causes small itchy bumps and blisters due to tiny mites that burrow into the top layer of human skin to lay their eggs.
The burrows sometimes appear as short, wavy, reddish, or darkened lines on the skin’s surface, especially around the wrists and between the fingers. A child who has contracted scabies can also develop a bumpy red rash.
Scabies is contagious, and is usually transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or through sexual contact with someone else who is infected with it. The infection spreads more easily in crowded conditions and in situations where there is a lot of close contact – like child-care centers or nursing homes. So if someone in your child’s class or child-care group has scabies, it’s a good idea to have your child treated for the infection even before he or she develops symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptom of scabies is severe itching, which may be worse at night or after a hot bath. A scabies infection begins as small, itchy bumps, blisters, or pus-filled bumps that break when you scratch them. Itchy skin may become thick, scaly, scabbed, and crisscrossed with scratch marks.
The areas of the body most commonly affected by scabies are the hands and feet (especially the webs of skin between the fingers and toes), the inner part of the wrists, and the folds under the arms. It may also affect other areas of the body, particularly the elbows and the areas around the breasts, genitals, navel, and buttocks.
If a child with scabies scratches the itchy areas of skin, it increases the chance that the injured skin will also be infected by bacteria. Impetigo, a bacterial skin infection, may occur in skin that is already infected with scabies.
Signs, symptoms & indicators of Scabies / Mites
Recommendations for Scabies / Mites
Indian researcher S. X. Charles, Ph.D. treated 814 people with scabies. He made a paste with four parts fresh neem leaves and one part turmeric root. The people in his study rubbed it all over themselves daily. Nearly 800 showed substantial improvement within three to five days and were completely cured within two weeks. You can buy skin-care products containing neem at some health food stores. Just mix in several teaspoons of turmeric and apply it to the affected areas.
Neem oil can be rubbed directly on the skin and can be used in a bath of warm water. Add a couple of tablespoons of Neem oil to the tub and swish it around. Then, set a timer for twenty minutes and soak in this natural healing agent. It will relieve the itching and burning caused by scabies.
Treat affected areas with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is completely safe to use on the skin. Use the oil undiluted, twice a day.
Doctors treat scabies by prescribing a medicated cream or lotion to kill the mites. The cream will need to be applied to the skin all over the body, not just the area with the rash, and usually must remain on the skin for 8 to 12 hours before it can be washed off. After applying it, don’t wash your hands – scabies mites love the area between the fingers! You may want to apply the medication before your child goes to bed, then wash it off in the morning.
Most often, the treatment needs to be repeated in 1 week.
Direct physical contact – like holding hands – is the most common way to transmit scabies, but because the mites that cause scabies can live as long as 2 to 3 days in clothing, bedding, or dust, it’s possible for your child to catch scabies from another person who shares the same infected bed, linens, or towels.
If someone in your family is being treated for scabies, all other members of the household should be treated, too. Clothing, sheets, and towels should be washed in hot water. Each room in the house should be vacuumed, and the vacuum cleaner bag should then be thrown away.
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Skin eruption due to a mite.
Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.