Scabies

Scabies is one of the most common diseases in dermatology.
Despite the fact that almost everything has long been known about scabies, there are still problems in both diagnosis and treatment.

What is scabies?

Scabies (lat. scabies) is a parasitic skin disease (infestation) caused by a scabies mite.

Scabies is a contagious disease. It is traditionally contracted through close contact with a person with scabies (for example, while lying in bed), or through any objects shared with him: clothes or bed linen. Scabies is sometimes even classified as a sexually transmitted disease. Scabies is characterized by a disease of several family members at once.

scabies mite

Scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei is not an insect, but a representative of arachnids. The length of the female scabies mite is within 0.5 mm. She lives within a month. Females make passages under the stratum corneum, laying 2–3 eggs there every day, from which larvae hatch. The larvae go through several stages of development and turn into adults. All this happens in the skin of the patient. There they leave the products of their vital activity. Then they rise to the surface of the skin and mate. Males, having fertilized the female, soon die. The fertilized female is introduced into the skin of the former or new host. After leaving the host, the scabies mite can live for 2-3 days at room temperature. When boiled or in the cold, they die almost immediately.

Symptoms of scabies

Scabies is called so because it itchs everything. Itching causes the presence of a tick in the skin and its vital activity. This is a kind of allergy to a tick. Therefore, at the first infection, itching appears after a few weeks (until an allergic response is formed), and when it is re-infected, it appears already on the first day.
Itching can be very strong, excoriations are characteristic – scratching. Characterized by increased itching in the evening and at night, during sleep.

In addition to scratching, when carefully examining a patient with scabies, one can observe scabies – tunnels in the skin made by a tick. Strokes and scratches are traditionally located between the fingers of the hands, on the wrists, in the elbows, on the feet, external genitalia, buttocks, and armpits. The head and neck are not affected by scabies (this happens only in infants).

What to do if you suspect scabies?

You need to see a doctor. You cannot diagnose scabies by yourself. And the doctor will not be able until he conducts a special study (he finds a tick).

Scabies is not the only skin disease that causes itching. There are many such diseases.

A rash in the same places as with scabies also occurs. In addition, there are atypical forms of scabies, the manifestations of which are clearly different: scabies without skin lesions, urticarial scabies (similar to urticaria), nodular (with post-scabious inflammatory nodules), eczematized scabies complicated by pyoderma (secondary bacterial infection), and finally – the so-called “Norwegian” scabies.

Medical centers have sufficient clinical experience to diagnose any form of scabies, including complicated and atypical. The standard diagnosis of scabies is that the tick at the tip of the needle is removed from the scabies passage (this does not hurt) and examined under a microscope. To do this, you need to find a itch move and a point in it – a tick at the end of the move. Sometimes this fails. In some clinical forms of scabies, it is generally impossible.

How to treat scabies?

For the treatment of scabies, various products of sulfur, benzyl benzoate, the Demyanovich method with hydrochloric acid, etc. were previously offered. In recent years, new products have been used. They are produced in the form of ointments, creams, solutions, shampoos, emulsions and aerosols.

However, the use of various products faces the problem of studying their effectiveness and toxicity, especially in infants. In addition, various forms of scabies – such as post-scabious, eczematized or urticarial – require the addition of pathogenetic therapy. To remove not only the tick, but also the inflammatory process launched by it.

Therefore, it is not always possible to cope with scabies on your own, even if you buy the newest product and use it according to the scheme.

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