What is scabies? How is it transmitted, what are the symptoms?
What is scabies? How is it transmitted, what are the symptoms?

Scabies is an itchy skin disease. Intense itching can be confused with allergies. So how is scabies transmitted, how is it treated? Dermatology Specialist Dr. Saliha Kırbaş gave information about scabies.

What is scabies?

Scabies is caused by a parasite belonging to the arthropod group of arthropods, which is caused by sarcoptes scabiei. Diseases caused by parasites are generally called infestations.

How does it contaminate?

This infestation is transmitted from person to person by contact. Therefore, it is more likely to be seen collectively in family members. Prolonged skin contact is essential for transmission to occur. It is not transmitted by short-term contacts such as shaking hands. However, it can be transmitted by direct use of items such as armchairs, sofas, clothes, pillows, quilts, which have been used by people with scabies recently and are contaminated with scabies, without cleaning them. In this respect, public areas such as barracks, camps, kindergartens, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and gyms are the areas where contamination is most common and cause rapid spread. Using the clothes of people who have tried that outfit a short time before you in the shopping mall without washing is considered among the causes of contamination.

In addition to being a cause of contamination, poor hygiene conditions contribute to the severe course of infection and resistance to treatment. The clinical picture, which is mild in young adults, may be more severe in the elderly, bedridden and children. Concomitant diseases that weaken the immune system, such as AIDS, cancer, and diabetes are among the causes that cause the disease to progress severely.

How Is Scabies Diagnosed?

The diagnosis is usually made by clinical examination findings. Persistent, persistent itching, which is also present in family members or in the immediate surroundings, usually occurs all over the body except the face and scalp, and increases at night. However, between the fingers, armpits, groin, genital area, nipples are the most itchy areas. The diagnosis is made by seeing the tunnels and bubbles opened by the parasite in the skin and examining them under a microscope.

How Is Scabies Treated?

It is a difficult disease to treat. Permethrin is often preferred because its toxic effect is low and its therapeutic effect is sufficient. However, gamma benzene hydrochloride is not preferred because of its high potential for side effects. It is important to treat all individuals with itching at the same time, which is important in the treatment. It is also important to ensure the simultaneous cleaning of clothes, beds, duvets and pillows. Recurrent infections make treatment difficult due to individual and inadequate treatments that do not include family and other suspected infected persons. In cases resistant to the permethrin group, benzyl bezoate and sulfur mixtures with vaseline are used, and sometimes 3-4 cycles of repeated treatment sessions are recommended in resistant cases.

The important thing in the treatment is to ensure the cleanliness of all individuals who are likely to be infected, as well as their clothes and living spaces. It is important to ventilate non-washable items such as beds, sofas, coats and coats in daylight to prevent re-contamination.

Speaking to DHA, Dermatologist Dr. Emre Araz said, “We witnessed a three-fold increase in the number of cases in the first 11 months of this year. As the dermatology community, we find this increase in the number of cases remarkable. Emphasizing that the cases of scabies who applied to their hospitals have increased threefold compared to the previous years, Dermatology Specialist Dr. Emre Araz said, “When we released the statistics for the last 5 years in our hospital, we witnessed that the number of cases increased three times even in the first 11 months of this year. As the dermatology community, we find this increase in the number of cases remarkable. In the last 30 years, we have seen that the scabies microbe has increased to the level of an epidemic in the society in some periods. As the dermatology community, we think that this increase seen in certain periods should be investigated. But more importantly, our people should not delay for diagnosis and treatment, and if a family member has been diagnosed with this diagnosis, all family members should be included in the treatment.

Sheets and Laundry Should Be Washed at 60 Degrees

Stating that there is itching in many other diseases, scabies is often ignored or not diagnosed in a timely manner, Dr. Araz warned: “People may consider it a simple allergy at first. If there is an individual in the family who has itching in this way, a doctor should be consulted without delay. When the doctor gives treatment, all family members should apply this treatment simultaneously. Because it is a type of parasite that is transmitted rapidly through contact. The first contact areas are usually on the inside of the hand, between the fingers, and on the wrists. This mite is more suitable for living in curved areas. In addition to medical treatment, precautions should be taken regarding clothing, laundry and linens. Because the scabies parasite, which we call sarcopenia, can stay alive for 36 hours on sheets and outdoors. That's why clothes, linen and sheets should be washed at 60 degrees. If this cannot be done, it should be put in a bag and kept closed for at least 3 days on the balcony. In this way, parasites die when they are left without air. This is also a helpful element in a treatment.”

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