What are Scabies?
Scabies, a highly-contagious skin infection, can happen to anyone at any age. Once your skin encounters the scabies mite (sarcoptes scabiei), it will dig into the upper layer of your skin and cause an itchy rash that looks like a tunnel under your skin. With the help of an experienced dermatologist, like our doctors at Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX, you can successfully treat the skin with prescription-strength creams to eliminate the problem. If not treated, this parasitic arthropod will feed off your skin, lay eggs, and burrow its ways in lines across the infested area, and continue to spread. If you think you or someone in your household may have scabies, call today and schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing.
What Causes Scabies?
Scabies is not an illness that has a cause. The mites that crawl their way into your skin needs a human host. It is how they survive. A case of scabies does not mean you are dirty, or do not take proper care of your children's hygiene. It is an unfortunate scenario when a person encounters this mite, but scabies is treatable.
Symptoms of Scabies
The first noticeable symptom of scabies is the undeniable itchy rash that comes with having the mites in your skin. Scabies can also:
- Appear on the hands, feet, face, and neck of infants and small children. while adults commonly have scabies in clusters in the armpits, on the stomach, around the nipples and areolar complex, arms, between the fingers and toes, feet, knees, thighs, buttocks, and even the genitals (it can be sexually transmitted).
- Looks like a normal rash with bumps and blisters, but will start to look like tunnels under your skin.
- Be painfully itchy.
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How to Treat Scabies
To diagnose scabies, your doctor may take a skin sample of the infected area to look under a microscope if it is not clear that what you have is indeed scabies. Once it is confirmed, your dermatologist can prescribe a prescription strength cream to eliminate these microscopic mites in your skin. Once you apply the scabies cream, you may still feel like the mites are crawling under your skin, which is normal. A second treatment may be needed if your scabies case is severe. Please follow all of the dermatologist instructions during your treatment. It could mean the difference between a second breakout or widespread case for your whole family.
You can try to prevent the spread of the infestation in your household by doing a deep cleaning of all linens, clothing, towels, plush toys, coats, and anywhere a mite may survive in your home. Safeguarding your home from mites is much like the process you would implement if your family had head lice. The mites must have a host to live, and if you cannot eliminate the infestation with hot water in the washing machine, you can bag up items and not use them for a couple of weeks so that the microscopic insects starve to death.
Also, do not allow anyone in your household, who is infected, to share clothing, towels, bedding, or anything that touches the skin. Children love to share toys, blankets, and clothes, but it could also mean that a transfer of the bug to the other children in the home. Be diligent and persistent with the household cleaning, or the mites may infest your home repeatedly.
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Schedule a Consult Today!
Diagnosing and treating scabies are very important to your skin's health. We can help. At Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX, we offer our services to patients of all ages. The burrowing mites involved in a scabies infection do not discriminate, and can be nearly impossible to treat at home without the help of a primary care physician or a dermatologist's intervention. Call and schedule an appointment today with one of our board-certified dermatologists for your scabies treatment.