Scabies is as old as our ancestors. It's been around and has endured through time even before most of us were born. Though it is safe to say that mites are globe trekkers and distributed all over the world, studies prove that they commonly thrive in thickly populated and unsanitary places. There are approximately 300 million cases of scabies infection every year. Out of this number, one million are found in the United States.
Much like lice, scabies mites are parasites feeding on human blood by burrowing under the skin. The presence of scabies in one's skin is sometimes indicative of other skin diseases such as allergic reactions, syphilis, dermatitis, lice and fleas.
Once you have confirmed the symptoms of scabies, the next move is to achieve quick treatment to prevent the mites from spreading and possibly multiplying further.
Doctors actually can prescribe some potent medications that effectively combat mites. One of these medicines is permethrin, which is an ointment applied on the skin before bedtime. It is allowed to stay for 8 to 14 hours before it is washed off the following morning. The procedure is repeated over and over until such time that scabies symptoms are gone.
Other curative chemicals are: crotamiton, which helps in relieving extreme itch; malathion, a plant insecticide that is applied for 24 hours and is very effective in killing young mites and their eggs.
Petroleum jelly (with sulfur content) when applied to affected areas is also a good way to get rid of mites and is considered safe for babies and pregnant women. On the other hand, the use of tea tree oil has also been found helpful against mites. Sulfur soaps are recommended to scrub mites from the skin and prevent itching.
In using any cream or lotion medications for mites, caution should be exercised because most of these solutions are laced with insecticide. Use of these applications is restricted for young children.
Oral medication is also recommended by some doctors to stop itching. However, you should always consult a physician regarding taking oral meds just to be sure you are on the safe side.
Scabies have no permanent cure and can return anytime. The most that can be done to be rid of them is to maintain proper sanitation and health practices at home and in your immediate surroundings. You can do this by observing the following:
- regular disinfection of beddings, clothes, curtains and all fabric materials around the house
- avoiding the use of rugs and carpets and other ornaments in the house that easily catch dust and mites
- constant vacuuming
- treating furniture with anti-mite chemicals
- using disinfectants in bathrooms and the kitchen
- washing and ironing clothes everyday
- taking a daily bath
Mites usually come with dirt and dust, so keeping our bodies and environs dirt-free can help keep scabies away. If you can keep up with the daily regimen of proper hygiene you will most likely succeed in preventing the recurrence of scabies.