Scabies Home Treatment: Sarcoptes Scabiei
Scabies is a highly contagious skin infection, which is transmitted most often through direct contact, with an infected person. Microscopic sized mites, sarcoptes scabiei, tend to burrow under the epidermis (top layer of skin). The female mites will begin to lay eggs, which causes the victim to get a rash, with blisters. These parasites can survive off of human blood for up to six months and up to seventy-two hours, without human blood.
Scabies is often called the “seven year itch” by the older generation, because of the horrible itchy rash. Mites love warm, moist areas (skin folds, between toes and fingers), but they are not bias to spreading to other parts of the body. If the rash goes untreated for a period of time sores will begin to form, which could potentially lead to impetigo (bacterial skin infection).
There are two different ways that scabies is transmitted. Direct contact (skin-to-skin) is the most common way, but you can also get infected through indirect contact with bed linen, towels, and clothing that has been left behind by an infected human. Dorms, gyms, and skilled nursing facilities are some of the most common places to get scabies.
Scabies are diagnosed by a dermoscopy (shave biopsy). This can be done in the exam room and no preparation is required for the test. The examiner will be looking for eggs and feces, which will provide an accurate diagnosis of scabies if they are present in the skin sample.
While most experts feel that over the counter remedies are not effective in treating scabies, others may beg to differ. Scabicidal drugs (oral and topical creams) are only available with a prescription. Elimite 5% topical cream is the most common treatment prescribed to treat these pesky mites. Ivermectin is an oral medication that can cure scabies, in just two doses administered a week apart.
Although it has not been scientifically proven that the counter medications that contain the ingredient, sulfur can cure scabies, many individuals swear by it. It is available at any pharmacy and comes in the form of a soap, ointment, or bath oil.
All bed linen, bath towels, and clothes should be laundered in 122 degrees Fahrenheit water.