INTENSE ITCHING AT NIGHT, WHY?

Scabies is a skin infestation caused by a mite known as the Sarcoptes Scabiei, these microscopic mites can live and reproduce on the surface of your skin, burrow into the skin as well as lay eggs on the skin for months when untreated. This results in an intensely itchy reddish skin rash.

 

There are several cases of scabies in the world at any given time as it a highly contagious condition that can be passed from person to person through direct skin contact as well as infested clothing, bedding amongst others. Although scabies can be bothersome as it creates a significant level of discomfort for the patient, they can also be eliminated effectively as treatment options are available.

Scabies is a result of an infestation of tiny, eight legged mites. These buds are so small you can’t see them on your skin, however, you can certainly see their effects. They have the ability to burrow into the top layer of the skin to live and feed, the female mites lay eggs. The skin reacts to the mites and their waste and as a result develops a red, itchy rash.

 

Scabies is easy passed between persons through direct skin contact (most common), the mites can also spread through infested surfaces such as furniture, cloths and beddings.

The hallmark symptom of scabies is the rash and intense itching of affected area that gets worse at night. Continuous itching of affected area can create sores that can become infected.

Common sites affected by scabies in children as well as adults includes the groin and perineum, elbow, armpit, wrist, buttock, areas between the fingers amongst others while in babies, toddlers and sometimes in the elderly scabies can affect the head, face, neck, hand and sole of the feet.

Scabies infestation.
Image Credit: Medical News Today

Prevention
The most effective way to prevent scabies is to avoid direct skin to skin contact with an infected person as well as avoiding unwashed clothing or bedding that has been used by a person infested with scabies.

It is important to note that scabies mite can live for three to four days after falling off your body, so you’ll want to take certain precautions to prevent another infestation. So therefore, it is crucial to wash clothing and beddings with hot water that reaches 122°F (50°C) and dry items thoroughly. Also, items that cannot be washed should be thoroughly vacuumed while infected surfaces should be cleaned with bleach and hot water.

Treatment
Treatment of scabies usually involves getting rid of the infestation with prescription ointments, creams and lotions that can be applied directly to the skin as well as medications taken orally.

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