When people talk about scabies they usually refer to a skin infection that is caused by an infestation of mites. It is considered to be a highly contagious or infectious infection. The first symptom that also characterizes this disease is severe itching which is usually accompanied by terrible rashes on the skin.
Size of Scabies Mites
Scabies infections are quite common all over the world and won't just go away unless it is treated. Nevertheless, this skin irritation is relatively easy to cure. The infection itself is caused by a miniscule little organism called Sarcoptes scabei. It's a very small insect though it has exactly eight legs. Since the size of the scabies mites is less than 50% of a whole millimeter, they are invisible to the human eye.
Scabies mites actually feed on human skin. They often burrow into the skin while doing so. An adult female mite lays her eggs inside the burrows and lays around two to three eggs in a single day. These eggs soon hatch after three to four days and baby mites come out.
After some time this next generation will take over replacing their mother that died right after laying her eggs. Larvae remain in their respective burrows until they become adults. The growing process to full adulthood usually takes up to four days.
Symptoms of Scabies
The very first symptom of a scabies infection is that pretty unbearable itch. The itch you feel during an infestation is caused by an allergic reaction to the mites and their droppings. Another common symptom that usually accompanies the itch is rashes, which are commonly called scabies rash. These rashes can appear in buttocks, nipples, armpits, and inner thighs.
Other areas affected by the accompanying rash caused by scabies mites include knees, feet, elbows, wrists, hands, and the skin around one's belly button. Like the itching, this rash is also an allergic reaction triggered by the mites. Do take note that it doesn't automatically mean that if a patient has rashes everywhere that the mites are present in the patient's entire body.
One final symptom that usually characterizes an infection caused by scabies mites are burrows on the skin. At times these burrows can be seen on a patient's skin. These are tracks on the skin of the patient that are about two to 15 mm in length. Some of these burrows are pretty hard to spot on the skin.
Diagnosis and Treatment
It is advised that you go to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Take note that this infection is rather contagious. Your doctor can identify the infection and prescribe to you the proper medication as treatment.