More of an infestation concept, versus an “infection”, scabies occurs when small mites, known as Sarcoptes scabiei, burrow into a person’s skin. The condition can spread rather quickly, and is contagious via close physical contact with an individual in a variety of settings from the home, to childcare centers, schools, or even prisons.
As scabies is rather contagious, when a case pops up for one individual, treatment is highly recommended for contact groups or entire families. The good news is that scabies can easily be treated via topical medications where these burrow mites are not only killed, but the eggs they lay as well.
While the exact cause of scabies is unknown, the common way it spreads is simply by contracting it from someone else who has scabies.
The mite itself is microscopic, and with eight tiny legs, the female burrows just beneath an individual’s skin, forming a tunnel and placing its eggs there. Once the eggs hatch, the mite larvae move to the surface of a person’s skin, and mature.
The entire process sounds a little time consuming for a good reason. It takes about two to six weeks for symptoms to surface for those who have never had scabies before, while a mere one to four days after, for those who have had the condition prior. Below are the top 10 symptoms of scabies.
When it comes to children, mites have no preferences, and scabies rashes, sores, and itches can be found in almost any part of their bodies. Still, rashes are most prevalent on the palms of a child’s hands, the soles of their feet, and the scalp. Children with the scabies condition are often irritable and simply cannot rest or sleep due to the intense itching (especially at night). Watching your child go through the intensity and itching that scabies brings can be hard.
The first thing you want to do is book an appointment to see a healthcare professional, as soon as possible. Ensure to use over-the-counter products to help decrease itching and bring relief. Cool baths, kid-safe calamine lotions, and children’s antihistamine products can all be used while you await your appointment. Ensure you have a list of questions before visiting your doctor, and a list of the types of symptoms present and for how long.