Scabies

By Joey Pedrolini

Dan

Dan is a 5 year old , and last week his mom noticed that he was becoming very itchy about a half an hour before bed time. The next morning on further inspection she saw several small fine white lines about a quarter inch long, on his arms, legs and trunk of the body. At the end of the lines there looked like small pimple like area. Also he had swelling of the skin between his fingers.

The source of scabies

Scabies is caused by an eight-legged mite. you could get this by touching a infected bird, rat, human, or other animal. The female mite burrows just beneath your skin and produces a tunnel in which it deposits eggs. The eggs hatch, and the mite larvae work their way to the surface of your skin, where they mature and can spread to other areas of your skin or to the skin of other people. The itching of scabies results from your body's allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs and their waste.

Symptoms


  • If this is the first infestation, symptoms may not appear for up to two months, but a person can still spread scabies even without symptoms.
  • Intensely itchy rash with red patches generally located between the fingers, around the wrists, and on the elbows, navel, nipples, buttocks, lower abdomen, and genitals. The face and scalp are rarely affected in adults but may be involved in small children.
  • Lesions as thin as pencil lead that mark where the scabies mites have burrowed into the skin; these are visible in only about 25% of cases.

Treating Scabies

  • Permethrin cream, 5 percent (Elimite) Permethrin is a topical cream that contains chemicals that kill scabies mites and their eggs.
  • Lindane lotion This is a harsh chemical treatment
  • Crotamiton (Eurax) This medication is available as a cream or a lotion. It's applied once a day for two days.
  • Ivermectin (Stromectol) Doctors may prescribe this oral medication for people with altered immune systems, for people who have crusted scabies

living with scabies

I worked in a pharmacy, which was handy, so I had access to pharmacist advice everyday. She said I should persist with the antihistamines, as it probably was allergy. Our secondary pharmacy suggested I used a topical steroid. (Like Hydrocortisone) This took away some of the itchiness but only treated the symptom and not the problem.

The rash began to grow over time, some spots beginning to merge together to create clusters. Because I was too embarrased to do anything about it, I kept on with antihistamines. By now I had moved into student halls and was worrying about what my new found friends might think about it. My self-confidence had been greatly damaged, and I couldn't show my arms at all, so I was always wearing jumpers, even on really hot days. Sometimes I'd be ashamed to show my wrists and hands, so would pull my jumper over them.

The itchiness practically destroyed my sleep pattern. It was keeping me up at night, and, as if being a new student wouldn't do enough damage, I hardly ever slept.

Finally, after a long long while, I went to the doctor's. She was amazed at what she was seeing, and said she couldn't tell what it was, because the rash was so widespread and long-term that it could be one of a few things. After consulting with another doctor, it was finally agreed that i must have Scabies. I was given Permethrin cream, and all the directions. I was told the marks may last for a while, and the itchiness even longer.

I had to treat myself 4 times, because I kept infecting. This put me in near constant fear of what could be around me, so I because almost obsessed with cleaning and washing. My bed was now a scary place.

Now, I'm nearly clear. The wounds (and perhaps scars) are now healing. My self confidence is slowly finding its way back. although my sleep pattern hasn't returned to normal, it's getting there. My life really was disrupted by scabies, and now I'm loving life.

Prognosis

Luckily for anyone with scabies, this is not fatal. After beginning treated for scabies, symptoms should only last about 2-4 weeks, while your bodies allergic system runs its course. This really wont make you change any daily living habits, besides the slight embarrassment of the rash, and the need to keep one hand free to itch it.

Work Cited