Summary: The scabies rash is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the top layer of human skin to lay eggs. This creates red bumps and an intense itching sensation.
Even though scabies is of the mite family, the treatment is a medical issue and does not require pest control treatments. Some pest control companies recommend treatments using insect growth regulators (IGRs) or knock down spray pesticides. It is important to understand that scabies mites can live in carpet, air handing duct work and on sheets, towels and any other linen that can pick up or carry human skin, but the mite cannot survive more than a couple of days without a host. Laundering sheets, linens and clothing that has come in contact with a person carrying scabies will do much to eliminate the scabies mite.
Scabies is a skin rash that appears as small, red bumps or short, dark, squiggly lines on a person's skin. The tiny mites that causes the rash digs into the top layer of human skin to lay eggs. Common places for scabies to appear are on the wrists and folds of skin between fingers on the hands. Other frequent areas are on the feet, elbows, breasts, buttocks, and genitals. It is a common infection found worldwide.
Scabies is contagious. It can be spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who is already infected. It can also be spread through sexual contact. Scabies is more easily transmitted in places where there is a lot of close skin contact like daycare centers or nursing homes.
The scabies mite is microscopic, and usually when there is a scabies infection there are fewer than ten mites on the entire body, so it can be hard to diagnose. If you or your child has been exposed to conditions where scabies is present it is recommended to get treatment immediately because symptoms take four to six weeks to develop.
The most evident symptom of scabies is a severe itch, caused by the body's reaction to the mites burrowing below the skin. The itching is usually most intense at night. The first visible signs of the infection are small red bumps that can fill with puss. Although it will be difficult, it is best not to scratch them or break them because this can lead to bacterial infection and scarring.
Scabies is often transmitted to people living in the same household by sharing towels or bed sheets. Family members or roommates living with a person who has been treated for scabies should probably also be treated. Wash all possibly infected linens in hot water. Vacuum thoroughly, and remember to throw away the vacuum bag afterwards.
If you suspect you or your child has scabies you need to consult a doctor. The doctor will take a skin sample and inspect it under the microscope for the scabies mites. If a scabies infection is present, the doctor will prescribe a cream that must be rubbed over the entire body. Currently medications available include Kwell shampoo, which contains 1% lindane and 10% crotamiton (Eurax). Do not wash your hands after applying the cream because the scabies mites are especially fond of inhabiting the folds of skin between the fingers. These preparations should be used according to a physicians instructions instructions.
There is also a new oral scabies treatment called Ivermectin, a broad spectrum anti-parasite medication. A single dose of Ivermectin has been reported to cure scabies.