There are many skin conditions that leave you feeling itchy. Perhaps none of them can be ickier and scarier than scabies — something which is caused by microscopic creatures that dig tiny holes in your skin and live in there. Creepy crawlers responsible for scabies are mites called sarcoptes scabiei, and they can easily get from one person to the next!
So what are the telltale signs that you could be suffering from scabies? First, there’s itching — a really intense and unrelenting one that can leave you scratching like crazy. It is said that the itchiness gets worse at night. Since an infected individual tends to scratch a lot, it’s not unlikely for secondary skin infections to develop.
Because those mites burrow in your skin, you may notice the presence of small blisters or red bumps which are actually caused by the burrow tracks made by sarcoptes scabiei. Those burrow tracks can be commonly found between the fingers, in the underarms, on the inner part of the elbow, around the breasts or male genital area, and on the buttocks.
Does it mean that you have poor personal hygiene because you have scabies? Not really. Suffering from an infestation of mites responsible for the dreaded skin condition has nothing to do with personal hygiene. You could be the cleanest person on the planet and still end up with scabies. Just about anyone can get it for as long as direct skin contact with an infected person takes place — the primary mode of transmission of this very itchy skin condition.
Tips on Preventing Scabies From Spreading
It’s a good thing that saving your self from ending up with scabies is not at all that difficult. Read on to know a few tips on how to prevent the skin condition from spreading like wildfire.
- Avoid having any form of direct skin contact with an infected individual — sitting right next to each other, having sex, etc. You don’t want those tiny mites in his or her skin to get to yours and start burrowing in there.
- Thoroughly vacuum mattresses and upholstered furnishings to remove present mites. Empty the contents of the vacuum bag into a plastic bag, and seal tightly to prevent those mites from escaping.
- Laundering clothes and other personal items of the infected person in hot water should be done. Mites cannot stand high temperature, so they will die upon coming into contact with hot water.
- Personal items that cannot be washed with hot water may be dry cleaned or steamed as these procedures are also highly effective in killing those creepy crawlers.
- You may also seal personal items in plastic bags for about a couple of weeks, just enough for those mites to starve and die.
- The infected individual should be checked by a specialist so that he or she may be given proper treatment.
Natural Remedies for Scabies
The most common medical treatment for scabies is the application of lotions or creams with insecticidal properties directly on the affected areas of the skin. There are also an assortment of home remedies that are tried-and-tested highly effective against scabies. Here are some of them:
- Tea tree oil. The simple application of tea tree oil regularly for 2 to 3 weeks on the affected area is very good at wiping out those mites. Tea tree oil also helps soothe itchy skin. Dilute tea tree oil in equal parts of olive oil before applying to prevent skin irritation. It’s also possible to add 10 to 12 drops of tea tree oil in your bathwater and soak in it.
- Cayenne pepper. This super hot spice is capable of burning and killing off the mites responsible for scabies. Simply add a cup of cayenne pepper powder in a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak in it until the water gets to room temperature. Remember to keep the water from getting into your eyes. After soaking, rinse your body thoroughly with cool water.
- Turmeric powder. Thanks to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric powder can help deal with scabies naturally. Make a thick anti-scabies paste by adding a few lemon juice drops to a tablespoon of turmeric powder. Apply the resulting paste on the affected areas and wash off with cool water after about an hour.
- Neem oil. Used as an all-natural pesticide, the application of neem oil can put a stop to scabies. All you need to do is gently massage it on itchy parts of your skin. Wait for a few minutes before taking a bath to give neem oil enough time to zap the mites. Do this once a day for several weeks until the skin condition subsides.