Health Alert: Scabies hits Sections of Upper West

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The Health complication is contracted through the use of second hand clothes and handshake from people with the health problem which is common with people of Upper West. The health complication is common in Wa.

What is scabies?

Scabies is a skin infestation caused by a mite known as the Sarcoptes scabiei. Untreated, these microscopic mites can live on your skin for months. They reproduce on the surface of your skin and then burrow into it and lay eggs. This causes an itchy, red rash to form on the skin.

The infestation of mites may also be transmitted through infested clothing or bedding. Intimate contact isn’t necessary.

Although scabies can be bothersome, they can usually be eliminated effectively. Treatment often consists of medications that kill scabies mites and their eggs. Since scabies is so contagious, doctors will usually recommend treatment for an entire group of people who are in frequent contact with a person who has scabies.

Recognizing scabies bites and the distinctive red rash can help you find treatment faster.

Scabies symptoms

After the initial exposure to scabies, it can take up to six weeks for symptoms to appear. The symptoms usually develop more quickly in people who’ve had scabies before.

The hallmark symptoms of scabies include a rash and intense itching that gets worse at night. Continuous scratching of the infected area can create sores that become infected. If this occurs, additional treatment with antibiotics for the skin infection may be recommended.

Common sites for scabies in older children and adults include the:

  • wrist
  • elbow
  • armpit
  • nipple
  • penis
  • waist
  • buttocks
  • area between the fingers

Scabies in babies and toddlers, and sometimes the very elderly or immunocompromised, can include the:

  • head
  • face
  • neck
  • hands
  • soles of the feet

The rash itself can consist of tiny bites, hives, bumps under the skin, or pimple-like bumps. The burrow tracks of the mite can sometimes be seen on the skin. They may appear as tiny raised or discolored lines.

What causes scabies?

Scabies is the result of an infestation of tiny, eight-legged mites. These bugs are so small you can’t see them on your skin, but you can certainly see their effects.

The mites will burrow into the top layer of your skin to live and feed. Female mites will lay eggs. Your skin will react to the mites and their waste, and you’ll develop a red, itchy rash.

These mites are easily passed between people. Direct skin-to-skin contact is the most common way to share the infestation. The mites can also be spread through infested:

  • furniture
  • clothes
  • bedding

Facilities where people live in close contact to one another often see infestations spread easily. These may include nursing homes or extended-care facilities.

Scabies treatment

Treatment for scabies usually involves getting rid of the infestation with prescription ointments, creams, and lotions that can be applied directly to the skin. Oral medications are also available.

Your doctor will probably instruct you to apply the medicine at night when the mites are most active. You may need to treat all of your skin from the neck down. The medicine can be washed off the following morning.

Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions very carefully. You may need to repeat the topical treatment in seven days.

Some common medicines used to treat scabies include:

  • 5 percent permethrin cream
  • 25 percent benzyl benzoate lotion
  • 10 percent sulfur ointment
  • 10 percent crotamiton cream
  • 1 percent lindane lotion

Your doctor may also prescribe additional medications to help relieve some of the bothersome symptoms associated with scabies. These medications include:

  • antihistamines, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or pramoxine lotion to help control the itching
  • antibiotics to kill any infections that develop as a result of constantly scratching your skin
  • steroid creams to relieve swelling and itching

More aggressive treatment may be needed for severe or widespread scabies. An oral tablet called ivermectin (Stromectol) can be given to people who:

  • don’t see an improvement in symptoms after initial treatment
  • have crusted scabies
  • have scabies that covers most of the body

Sulfur is an ingredient used in several prescription scabies treatments. You can also purchase sulfur over the counter and use it as a soap, ointment, shampoo, or liquid to treat scabies.

It’s important to note, however, that no over-the-counter scabies treatments have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

During the first week of treatment, it may seem as if the symptoms are getting worse. However, after the first week, you’ll notice less itching, and you should be completely healed by the fourth week of treatment.

Skin that hasn’t healed within a month may still be infested with scabies mites. It’s important to remember that “post-scabies itch” can last up to one month.

Contact your doctor right away if you find that symptoms continue after four weeks of treatment.

Natural treatment of scabies

Some traditional scabies treatments can cause unwanted side effects, such as a burning sensation on the skin, redness, swelling, and even numbness or tingling. While these are typically temporary, they may be uncomfortable.

Common natural treatments for scabies include:

Tea tree oil

Small studies show tea tree oil may treat scabies, while also easing itching and helping eliminate the rash. However, it won’t work well on mites that are burrowed into your skin.

Aloe vera

This gel is known for its ability to ease skin irritation and burning, but a small study found that aloe vera was just as successful as a prescription treatment at treating scabies. Just be sure to buy pure aloe vera, not an aloe vera-infused product.

Capsaicin cream

Though it will not kill the mites, creams made with capsaicin from cayenne peppers may relieve pain and itching by desensitizing your skin to the bothersome bites and bugs.

Essential oils

Clove oil is a natural bug killer, so it stands to reason mites might die in its presence. Other essential oils, including lavender, lemongrass, and nutmeg, could have some benefit at treating scabies.

Soaps

Active components from the bark, leaves, and seeds of the neem tree may kill the mites that cause scabies. Soaps, creams, and oils made with the tree’s extract may help deliver the fatal blow to the mites.

Home remedies for scabies show some promise for both relieving symptoms of an infestation and killing the mites that are causing the uncomfortable symptoms. Learn more about these natural scabies treatments so you can decide if one is right for you.

Is scabies contagious?

Scabies is contagious. It can be spread in the following ways:

  • prolonged skin-to-skin contact, such as holding hands
  • intimate personal contact, such as having sexual intercourse
  • sharing clothing, bedding, or towels that have been used by someone with a scabies infection

Since scabies is mostly transmitted through direct physical contact, the infestation can easily be passed on to family members, friends, and sexual partners. The infestation may also spread quickly in:

  • schools
  • nursing homes
  • rehab facilities
  • sports locker rooms
  • prisons

Source: healthline.com

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