Scabies is extremely itchy. It is caused by the itch mite, the Sarcoptes scabiei, which lives in the upper part of the skin where it digs small burrows in which it lays her eggs. This causes the itching.
HOW DOES IT DEVELOP?
Scabies is usually contracted from someone else who has scabies. The scabies spreads through skin contact, by sleeping in a bed with infected bedsheets, or by wearing the clothes of someone with scabies. Family members will often all become infected. Complaints such as itching and skin deviations usually follow 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infected.
The itch mite is a tiny insect that is barely visible by the naked eye. The itch mite mostly nestles in the folds between the fingers and toes, and around the genitals. This is where the scabies is mostly visible as small, red pimples. Scabies hardly ever manifests itself in the face or on the scalp.
There are two ways to treat scabies:
- Applying a permethrin cream (Loxazol) on the entire body and repeat this after one week.
- Oral medication such as ivermectin tablets (Stromectol). You and the dermatologist will determine which treatment is most suitable and effective.
Unfortunately, the itching will not immediately disappear after the treatment. This can last for another few weeks.
Scabies is highly contagious. It is, therefore, absolutely essential that all family members are treated, even when they do not experience any itching or rash.