Scabies – Disease and Transmission
Scabiesare STD (sexually transmitted) disease, caused by a parasite called Sarcoptes scabiei. It is easily transmitted, either through direct contact with, or incontact with the clothing or linen of the infected people. All the time, fromthe moment when a person got infected until the complete curation infected personis considered infectious.
There is a severe form of scabies, known as Norwegian scabies, morecommon in elderly and people with compromised immune system (HIV/AIDS)patients.
You should know that latex condoms aren’t sufficient protection againstscabies. However condoms will protect you and your partner from many otherSTDs, including HIV infection.
Some OTC (over the counter) medications might help you to treat scabieswithout getting to see the doctor. Permethrinand malathion are the medications used to treat scabies in humans, available as creams or lotions. Permethrin is always the first choice to treatthis disease and if this doesn’t succeed it is recommended to use malathion.
When using theseproducts always start from the neck down. Use it on your upper parts first andthen on the trunk and limbs. Permethrin should be left on the skin for 12 andmalathion for 24 hours to work. If you need to wash your skin, you should applythe cream or lotion again. One application should be enough to kill allparasites on your skin, but just to be sure there are no parasite eggs left,use the product one more time, one week later.
Don’t be surprisedif the itching doesn’t stop right after, because your immune system may bestill reacting to parasite remains. It could take a whole month until all theparasites get excreted from the body, and just then the itching will definitelystop. If the itching doesn’t stop after6 weeks you should consult a doctor. Pregnant women should not use permethrin. Therecommended medication for them (if they must use anything) is a solution of sulfurin petroleum. Permethrin and malathionhave some side effects, including: skin irritiation, itching and burning. Any ofthese symptoms should be reported and treated by a doctor.
Some medicationsmight ease the itching caused by scabies. These include antihistamines or herbal lotions.The most commonly used antihistamines are Benadryl and Diphenhydramine. These drugsmay be used without prescription, but their use is usually associated withsleepiness and drowsiness. People tend to avoid them because of it or useantihistamines at night, when they won’t affect any activities. You might alsouse some chamomile lotions to relieve the itching.
As home remedies forscabies, people commonly use neem (Azadiracta indica) oil and turmeric. It is recommendedto apply the neem all over the body, because it should ease the pain andsymptoms of scabies infection. Another home remedy is the paste made of turmericspice and lemon juice. Rub the paste onto the body and leave for half of anhour to work. Rinse it after that time and you should be scabies-free.
In order to prevent scabies, there are several things to do. You shouldavoid direct contact with infected people and their linen or clothes, and evenfurniture. Wash all of your linen,clothes and textiles from the house and if you can dry them in the house. Vacuumthe whole house and furniture to clean all scabies eggs and also cut your nails.