General Scabies Facts for the Interested

Source:  General Scabies Facts for the Interested    Tag:  scabies rash

There are many species of parasitic mites that cause scabies. Some of them affect only humans, some affect only animals and others can affect both humans and animals. Scabies affects the skin producing inflammations, irritations, blisters, rash and itch. This condition is very contagious because the mites can be transmitted easily from a person to another, or from animals (direct contact) and from contaminated object (indirect contact). Although it is most commonly met in children the scabies affliction is not related to age or gender.

It is wrong to conclude that children are more vulnerable than adults to encountering the scabies mites based on physical factors even though the incidence is a lot higher in children. The real reason for this is that children generally interact more with each other, with domestic animals and with potentially contaminated objects in schools, playgrounds or any other environments they attend. Also, children tend to disregard their parents advice on the personal hygiene.

The big number of types of mites that cause scabies and the different states of general health of the host bodies make the incubation period vary, thus, the symptoms will show after different amounts of time: in case of healthy people it may take up to a few weeks while for those with a precarious health condition like old people, people with affected immune system or people with prior infestations it may take only a few days from the time they got infested..

For their protection, scabies mites hide in different areas of the body that are usually covered and have thinner layers of the skin until they reach maturity, breed and start infesting the rest of the body, making their discovery harder this way. Although it is possible for the mites to infest any region of the body, they will rarely be seen on the face and neck. The usual areas of the body where they seek shelter are the nipples, the genital organs, feet, ankles, knees, armpits and elbows.

Female mites of scabies, dig in the first layers of human skin and deposit their eggs for incubation. This incubation period varies and after it is over, the eggs hatch, bringing to life some larvae that try to make their way up to the surface were they can continue their lifestyle. In a few weeks, those larvae reach maturity and start reproducing themselves. Because this process of infestation is quite fast, a proper treatment is required in order to avoid serious complications like allergic reactions and bacterial infections at all levels of the skin, inner layers and outer layers. The actual reason for the allergic reactions and the infections of the body is not the mite itself but its secretions and eggs. The saliva, the feces, the eggs and the larvae affect the host's skin. The incipient stages of scabies infestation manifest through itchy sensations, bumps and blisters on the skin, irritation, swelling and inflammation. The later stages are shown by ulcerations and crusts on the skin.

By Rodney Kadel

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