Scabies: symptoms and how to recognize it (pictures)

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Carlos Laforet Coll

What are the symptoms of scabies? How to recognize this contagious skin disease and what does it entail?

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What are the symptoms of scabies? How to recognize this contagious skin disease and what does it entail?

La scabiesit is a very contagious skin disease which fortunately is easy to treat and eradicate. But what are they the symptoms and how to recognize it?

Scabies is a contagious skin infestation. It occurs between humans and other animals. It has been classified by the World Health Organization as a water-related disease.

It is caused by a very small parasite and usually not directly visible, which inoculates itself under the skin of the affected subject causing intense allergic itching. The infestation in animals caused by similar mite species is called sarcoptic mange.


Scabies, causes

At the origin of scabies there is the Sarcopts scabiei, for an mite, that is, a microscopic insect parasite which is positioned under the skin (to survive it needs a temperature of about 37 °) and lays eggs, proliferating and increasing the body's reaction to its presence. The female mite is involved.

Scabies is found more frequently in crowded areas in unsanitary living conditions.

Worldwide as of 2009 it is estimated that 300 million cases of scabies occur each year, although this is much discussed. It is estimated that 1 to 10% of the world's population is infested with scabies, but in some populations the infection rate can be as high as 50-80%.

Scabies, symptoms

I typical symptoms of scabies, such as blisters, vesicles and itching, are indeed a kind of allergic reaction triggered by the immune system of the affected person dealing with a foreign agent.

I typical symptoms of scabies are skin rash in the form of red blisters of different sizes and very itchy. A key feature that makes scabies very recognizable are lesions that form on the skin called scabious tunnels, we speak of a sort of microscopic galleries of about 2-3 millimeters and whitish in color that are used by the female parasites to lay eggs.

Enlargement of a scabby tunnel

Skin rash and mite galleries appear especially in some areas: hands, wrists, elbows, abdomen and genitals. The most annoying symptom is undoubtedly the severe itching which tends to especially worse at night (can cause sleep disturbances) or with heat, for example after a bath or shower, since parasites become active and reproduce with high temperatures. Furthermore, the continuous scratching can create real abrasions on the skin.

If you already suffered from skin problems, contracting scabies can certainly worsen the pre-existing symptoms.

An experienced eye very easily recognizes a skin rash due to scabies because it forms very characteristic bubbles as well as the mite galleries. In doubtful cases, however, small samples of skin can be analyzed in the laboratory to find or not the presence of the parasite.

Scabies can obviously also affect children and babies. The most evident manifestations of its presence are highlighted above all on the hands, wrists, armpits, waist and genitals.

Let's summarize the main symptoms of scabies:

  • Blisters and blisters on the skin
  • Skin rush
  • Whitish scabious tunnels
  • Redness
  • severe itching
  • Reaction similar to an allergy
  • Worsening of itching at night
  • Worsening of itching with heat
  • Skin abrasions

The blisters of scabies manifest themselves mainly in these areas of the body:

  • Hands
  • Wrists
  • Armpits
  • Elbows
  • Genitals
  • Abdomen
  • Back
  • Face
  • Back
  • Arms

Scabies, how the infection occurs

As already mentioned, the mites responsible for scabies are positioned under the skin but can also find fertile ground for their reproduction by stationing on sheets, mattresses or clothes. It is therefore evident that the infection occurs by direct contact with a person already suffering from scabies or with some object or garment where parasites are found.

The first symptoms appear later an incubation period that varies from a few days to several weeks. It is contagious until treatment has been started for at least 24 hours.

Transmission of scabies occurs via direct contact from already infected people or pets.

The female parasite of scabies it digs burrows in the epidermis where it lays 1-3 eggs every day, dying after 1-2 months; at the birth of the new mites, these in turn create burrows.

Scabies, natural cures and remedies

Once scabies is recognized it is treated very simply by using two ointments (based on benzyl benzoate, crotamiton or permethrin) useful to eradicate the mites and their eggs in a very short time. Very important too wash all clothes, sheets and other objects with which you have come into contact at 90 ° so as to eliminate any parasites deposited.

There is also a natural remedy to treat scabies, it is the balsam of peru which is naturally rich in benzyl benzoate.

The balsam of Peru is an oleoresin containing free or esterified benzoic derivatives. It comes in the form of a dark brown viscous liquid with a strong vanilla smell.

It is obtained from the exudate of the bark of Myroxylon balsamum var. Pereirae, a plant belonging to the Fabaceae found in Central America (especially El Salvador). It is used both in perfumery and as a natural remedy, for scabies and as an antiseptic.

Remedies e what to do in case of scabies:

  • Laboratory analysis to identify the presence of the parasite
  • Seek the advice of the doctor or pediatrician in the case of children
  • Ointment based on benzyl benzoate
  • Crotamiton or permethrin based ointment
  • Wash clothes and sheets at 90 degrees
  • Thoroughly wash all items potentially contaminated by parasites
  • Balsam of Peru as a natural remedy

Scabies, natural remedies for itching

Some natural remedies can come to our aid in case of scabies to try to relieve the itch. Obviously these remedies do not solve the problem of scabies at the root but also in other cases they are used when itching and irritation of the skin occur. For example:

  • Aloe vera gel
  • Shea butter
  • Cornstarch
  • Rice starch
  • Coconut oil
  • Neem oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Sodium bicarbonate

Scabies, recommendations

Our main recommendation is always to contact your doctor in case you notice the appearance of blisters and rashes on the skin. In fact, it could be scabies or other problems, such as hives, allergic reaction, dermatitis ... It is better to contact your doctor to understand the causes of the problem, to know what it is and how to intervene in a timely manner.

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