#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Scabies!

As promised, I shall be writing on scabies today.


Most people believe that people with scabies are very dirty or have poor personal hygiene. This is not necessarily so as there is no evidence to support this.


So, what is scabies? It is a skin condition caused by tiny mites, which burrow under the skin as they feed. They lay eggs under the skin which later hatch and move to the skin surface where they grow into adults. There is a period of about 8 weeks between infection and manifestation of symptoms. Preferred areas of the skin scabies include warm areas like between fingers, under the breasts, around the buttocks, around the waist, inner elbow, knees, other skin folds and between skin and wrist watch straps, bracelets etc


Scabies is contagious and thus spread through personal skin to skin contact with infected persons, sexual contact and rarely through shared clothing and beddings. It is very common in child care groups, school classes and readily spreads in families.


People with scabies experience intense itching which is worse at night with rashes developing in the areas where the mites have burrowed.


Scabies are usually treated using creams and lotions that contain insecticides that kill the mites and their eggs…but you may still experience itching for a couple of weeks.. Your doctor will prescribe these. During treatment, please avoid sexual intercourse, if you have been diagnosed with genital scabies and it is usually recommended that treatment be carried out for entire contact groups and/or families. The ever-trusted calamine lotion can help relieve itching and you could also apply a cool, wet washcloth to affected areas to get some relief. Over the counter anti-histamines will help with the itching too and your doctor will likely prescribe this.


To prevent re-infection, wash all clothes, beddings etc used up to 3 days before treatment was commenced, bedding in hot soapy water and dry with high heat. You can use a clothes dryer or outside when it’s very hot. You can improvise using a hair dryer.


I hope this helps someone!


Have a fab weekend, y’all 😀



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