If you are experiencing blisters on your fingers, wrists, feet and/or a bumpy rash on the trunk with intense itching, it may be scabies, a highly contagious skin infestation. If you or your child is exhibiting the signs of scabies, do not hesitate to contact our office for prompt treatment. With scabies, quick and thorough treatment is required to prevent further infection to others.
What is Scabies?
Scabies is a skin infestation caused by a mite called the Sarcoptes scabiei. These mites are microscopic in size, and burrow into the upper layers of the skin where they lay their eggs and live. Scabies is often spread by prolonged, direct contact with a person who has scabies, or through contact with infested furniture or bedding. It can also be sexually acquired.
Common signs and symptoms of scabies include:
- Intense itching.
- Pimple-like rash.
- Small blisters.
- Small, raised, gray or white lines on the skin’s surface (which are burrows).
It may take up to 4-8 weeks for symptoms to develop if you have never had scabies before. However, if you have had scabies before, symptoms may appear in just 1-4 days following exposure.
Scabies Treatment Options
The main goal of scabies treatment is to eliminate the infestation, commonly using topical prescription medications. You should apply your medicine at night because this is when the mites are most active. Be sure to apply it from the chin all the way to the soles of the feet, being sure to cover your entire body (avoiding the face). Allow the medication to stay on for at least 10 hours, and then wash it off the following morning. However, before you wash off the cream, launder all of the clothes and bed linens that were used during the past 4 days.
You may experience mild stinging, itching, or burning when you apply the medication and for several hours after, though this will be temporary. You may also experience increased itching for a day or two after first applying the medication, which is normal. All members of the household must be treated, whether they are exhibiting symptoms or not.
Tips to Prevent Scabies
The most effective way to prevent getting scabies is to avoid direct contact with a person who is known to be infected. Also, avoid touching or using clothing or bedding that has been used by an infected person.
If you have already been diagnosed with scabies, it is important to know that scabies mites can survive for 3-4 days after they fall off of the body. This means that there are certain steps that should be taken to prevent another infestation. Be sure to wash all clothing, bedding, towels, and pillows in hot water. Vacuum anything that cannot be washed, dispose of the vacuum bag, and then wash the vacuum with bleach and hot water.