If you have not encountered a scabies infection, count yourself lucky. These microscopic mites have plagued humans for thousands of years, infecting an estimated 250 million people or more every year. Once infected with these mites, a person will becoming increasingly itchy as the mites burrow and reproduce under the skin. What is worse, these mites are spread through close human contact, often for weeks before any symptoms of the infestation occur. Here are the symptoms to help identify a scabies infection to begin immediate treatment before it is spread to others.
- Red, itchy rash. Scabies cannot be seen with the naked eye so the first sign will be of them aggravating the skin. Scabies burrow into the skin and tend to form in between fingers, toes, inside elbows or knees and in the genital region. The rash may look like small pimples, with lines of tunnels that these mites make in the skin.
- Progressively worse. Scabies symptoms tend to start gradually as annoying to the point where the itching keeps infested people awake. If you have a rash that is getting worse, not better, you should see your dermatologist.
- Professional treatment is needed. A dermatologist can help diagnose scabies and administer treatment options. There are no over-the-counter remedies for scabies. Most people who are experiencing scabies symptoms have had the mites for a few weeks – anyone they have had close skin contact with should also visit a dermatologist to be tested and possibly treated.
Scabies are not harmful but scratching the rash can lead to infections, plus the irritation of these mites is almost impossible to live with. At the first sign of possible infection or if someone you have close contact with has scabies, schedule an appointment with your local dermatologist.
Posted on behalf of:
Northwest Georgia Dermatology
840 Church Street
Marietta, GA 30060