The danger of getting infected with scabies depends on your exposure to scabies mites. If you happened to have had close physical contact with someone with scabies and perhaps greeted them by kissing, hugging and huddling, chances are you may have caught the mites.
Take note that symptoms of scabies vary with your history of exposure to this infestation. If you already had scabies before and you get infected again, the symptoms will be manifested in just a couple of days. On the other hand, if you have never been infested with scabies mites, it usually takes 2 to 6 weeks before your symptoms appear.
Among adults, mites usually attack and lodge in the following body parts: nipples, shoulder blades, armpits, wrists, in between fingers, breasts, waist, butt, penis and under the elbows and knees. Meanwhile, among children, the sites commonly infested by mites are: neck, head, face, palms and the soles.
Though mites are invisible to the naked eye, their activities on the skin can be detected through the tunnels and red marks they make while they burrow under the skin. These marks appear to be gray, brown or red lines that make distinct spots on the skin. Since the skin of young children is soft and clear, these marks are more visible on kids. Oftentimes too, kids cannot endure the itching caused by burrowing mites and their tendency is to scratch their skin hard, causing eruptions and open wounds. If you see your kid vigorously scratching his skin, it could be an indication that he is infected with scabies.
Lesions or pimples may also form as the mites try to tunnel beneath the skin. These pimples are reddish in color and are very itchy. Crusted scabies are scaly, thick and dry rashes on the skin. The crusted scabies may not itch, however, inside the skin are millions of mites somewhat forming a colony.
Recognizing scabies can help you prevent the further invasion of these mighty mites. Here are some tips on how to determine whether you are already infested with scabies:
- Periodically check your skin with a mirror held under a clear light so you can do a thorough examination.
- Look very well in areas of your body that are extremely itchy, especially at night.
- Examine the spots on your body that are prone to mites such as the penis, nipples, butt and neck. If you find lesions or pimples that are itchy, there might be scabies infection in those parts.
Children, particularly those who stay in boarding schools and share rooms with other students, are the common victims of scabies. People residing in congested areas with poor sanitation are also prone to scabies.
Unless the eggs of the mites are totally eradicated from the human body, scabies will continue to spread. What's disgusting is that the mites usually leave behind ugly scars and rashes as they move their way to other parts of your body. Hence, avoid scratching the infected spots to prevent scars from forming.