Scabies is a contagious skin infestation caused by a mite called Sarcopetes scabiei. Microscopic mites will burrow into the top layers of the skin, grow and lay as many eggs as possible resulting in symptoms which cannot be ignored. Scabies is a very common skin disease, especially in men. It spreads rapidly in crowded areas where close skin contact is inevitable.
Symptoms of Scabies
The symptoms associated with scabies in men can appear within 1 day to 6 weeks after coming in contact with it. The symptoms can appear in any part of the men’s body or can be seen in certain areas specifically like armpits, wrists, elbows, penis, waist, between the fingers and nipples.
1. Rash comprises of pimple like small bumps. It includes small blisters and scales.
2. Severe insidious itching especially at night.
3. Scabies mite burrow into the skin. When the female mite lays eggs on the skin, she creates an expanding burrow. Burrow might appear as thread like projections, slightly raised and yellow or pink in color. These burrows are 2-15 mm long. They are commonly found in the folds of the skin.
4. Scratching the burrows may create more sores which can be infected by other bacteria.
Diagnosis of Scabies
Scabies can be diagnosed by doctors on clinical examination. It is confirmed by taking a skin scrap and examining it under the microscope for the presence of mites.
Treatment for Scabies
There is no nonprescription treatment available for scabies that has proven to be effective. Scabies is treated with the prescribed scabicide after the rash has been identified to be caused due to mite. The scabicides usually recommended by doctors are Lyclear cream and Derbac-M. These topical lotions can be applied all over the body, left for specified hours and then rinsed off. Occasionally treatment needs to be repeated after 7 days, if the itching persists and rashes re-appear. Antihistamines like iphenydramine is also prescribed to control itching.
Scabies is a contagious skin infection. So the following preventive measures should be taken to avoid spreading the infection to other people:
1. Direct physical contact should be avoided.
2. Do not share same bedding, clothing and other items with infected men.
3. Clothing, sheets, and towels should be washed in hot water.
4. Proper hygiene should be maintained.
5. Other family members of infected men should also be treated for scabies.
6. Entire house should be cleaned with disinfectants.
7. Daily shower is very important for all men to prevent scabies.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the complications associated with scabies?
Excessive itching in scabies can lead to scratching that can injure the skin. Secondary bacterial infections can develop on the skin due to this.
2. Should sexual intercourse be avoided by men suffering from scabies?
Scabies is a contagious skin infestation. So you should avoid sexual intercourse with your partner to prevent him/her from getting infected.