Scabies: Get to know the symptoms and treatments
After an infestation, symptoms can take up to six weeks to become apparent, with one being felt more at night.
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes: “Symptoms of scabies include a severe itch, often worse at night.”
Bumps can then appear all over the body, as well as a rash on the palms, soles of the feet, ankles, and scalp.
Those who have a suppressed immune system might develop crusted scabies, which can be “life-threatening”.
The WHO explains: “Scabies mites burrow into the top layer of skin, where the adult female lays eggs.
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“The eggs hatch in three to four days and develop into adult mites in one to two weeks.
“Four to six weeks the patient develops an allergic reaction to the presence of mite proteins and faeces in the scabies burrow, causing intense itch and rash.”
The NHS adds an infection could appear as “lines with a dot at one end”, with the rash often beginning “between the fingers”.
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Treatment is necessary, but the NHS says “a pharmacist can help with scabies”.
Typically, a lotion will be advised, but you must “read the instructions carefully”.
Once treatment is completed, it can still take up to eight weeks for the rash to fade.
“Everyone in your home needs to be treated at the same time, even if they do not have symptoms,” the NHS stresses.
“Anyone you have had sexual contact with in the past eight weeks should also be treated.”
During the treatment of scabies, it’s highly recommended to wash all bedding and clothing at 50C or higher.
If itching persists four weeks after treatment is finished, “see a GP”.
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