- WHAT IS SCABIES?
Scabies is known as the seven-year itch, is a highly contagious skin infestation that affects humans. Scabies is a worldwide problem and all ages, races and socioeconomic groups are susceptible. Environmental factors hastening spread include overcrowding, delayed treatment of primary cases, and lack of public awareness of the condition.
- CAUSATIVE AGENT:
Scabies is caused by mite Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis. The scabies mite is 0.35 × 0.3 mm in size and too small to be seen by the naked eye. It thrives and multiply only on human skin. Female mite does tunnels within epidermis and deposits 20-50 eggs there during its lifespan (4-6 weeks). Burrow 2-3 mm daily, usually at night, and lay eggs during the day. So about a dozen female mites are present on the surface of the patient’s skin.
Scabies can be transmitted directly by close personal skin-to-skin contact, sexual contact. Scabies can also spread at a rapid pace in crowded areas where there is a chance of prolonged contact due to fomite transmission. You should know that mite can remain alive more than 2 days on clothing or in bedding. Hence, scabies can be acquired without skin-to-skin contact, indirectly via fomites. Prevalence is higher in children and people who are sexually active and don’t keep good hygiene. Spread of the infestation among family members and other close contacts is common, but scabies is not a known vector for systemic disease.
The incubation period before symptoms develop can range from days to months. In first-time infestations, it usually takes 2-6 weeks before resulting in pruritus and cutaneous lesions. A subsequent infestation is usually recognized within 24-48 hours. Asymptomatic scabies-infested individuals are not uncommon, and they can be considered “carriers”.
- CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS:
– pruritus – intense, widespread, usually sparing head and neck; itching often interferes or prevents sleep; often present in other people who share house, e.g. family members. Cutaneous lesions are symmetrical, typically involving the interdigital webbing of the hands, flexural aspect of the wrists, axillae, posterior auricular area, waist (including the umbilicus), ankles, feet and buttocks. In men, penile and scrotal lesions are common, while in women, the areolae, nipples are often affected.
- Rash, but in some individuals experience pruritus for many months with no rash !
- Secondary infection as result of chronic scratching and rubbing.
Different Types of Scabies:
- Clean Man’s Scabies: This is seen in individuals who bathe regularly, and keep very clean. In this case, the lesions are minimal and hard to see. Itching tends to be not as intense.
- Scabies Incognito: Normally, if a strong type of treatment, such as steroids, are applied then the scabies are masked and the lesions are suppressed.
- Infant Scabies: This occurs in babies and young children, and is often misdiagnosed or mistreated. Scabies will affect the whole body of the child,
- Norwegian Scabies: This is an intense case of crusted scabies. In this case, there can be up to hundreds or thousands of mites within the lesions. This occurs commonly in autoimmune deficient individuals, or people who are mentally challenged.
Diagnosis should only be made by a doctor dermatologist because scabies can easily be misdiagnosed!!!
- Keep good hygiene
- Promote good surveillance of all residents
- Maintain a high level of suspicion if someone presents with undiagnosed skin rashes
- All familly members or roommates should be treated at the same time even if they don’t have any symptoms.
- If you suspect you have come into contact with someone who has scabies, or you start feeling symptoms it is very important to see a doctor immediately.
- Scabies can rapidly spread and affect a lot of people.
- Scabies is not always a hygiene issue, so don’t be ashamed if you have been affected by the mite.
- Be responsible and take the necessary precautions to prevent the people that come in contact with you from getting it.
The information is prepared
by assistant of dermatovenereological department
PhD Hulei Liliia