Scabies is a contagious skin infection that is common among humans. It is known also as the seven-year itch, due to the characteristics of the infection. The Scabies mite is responsible for the skin infection. The mite is a tiny and not directly seen parasite called Sarcoptes scabiei and it burrows under the upper layer of a person’s skin, causing a rather intense allergic itch. The female mite lays its eggs on the burrows of the skin and when the eggs hatch the larvae start to make burrow in the skin. The mite can multiply very fast. However, if you are infected for the first time, it may take from 2 to 6 weeks for your body system to react.
The scabies mite can develop anywhere on the upper layer of the skin. There are certain areas that are commonly infected and develop itching and rashes. The hands and arms are a primary target for the mites. They like to dig in the skin between the fingers and around the fingernails. They also dig in the elbows and the wrist. You must be careful also for parts of the skin that you usually cover with clothing and jewelry. The belt line, the buttocks and even the penis and the skin surrounding a woman’s nipples are likely places for the mite. The mite also loves to burrow in the skin area covered by a watchband, a bracelet or a ring.
Some children experience widespread attack by the scabies mite. The scabies rash and itching can even cover most of the body. A child’s soles, scalp and palms can experience a severe infestation with mites. The infestation can be very irritable in the case of babies. When babies experience rashes and itching, they are uneasy and even do not want to eat and sleep. This can be a problem for nursing mothers. It is best to bring your baby immediately to the doctor at the first sign of skin irritation. This is to rule out other forms of skin irritation that my look like scabies.
If you do not pay immediate attention to the Scabies mite, the infection may become severe and come in the form of Norwegian scabies. This is severe form often called as crusted scabies. Individuals whose immune system is not functioning well can easily fall into this kind of scabies. Most people with scabies only have 15 to 20 mites present on their skin. Those with crusted scabies or Norwegian scabies have hundreds or even thousands of mites crawling in their skin. Due to their microscopic size, the naked eye cannot determine the exact number of mites.
The best defence in totally eliminating the Scabies mite is to treat simultaneously. If someone in the household gets infected, all the members of the family must be checked and treated also. Aside from this, all the things in the house have to be disinfected using a chemical that kills the mite. The bed sheets, blankets, clothes, and even shoes have to be disinfected. The floors and the walls have to be included to kill all the eggs that the mite might lay around.