Dermatology Specialist Prof. stated that there has been a great increase in scabies cases recently. Dr. Therefore, Burhan Engin drew attention to the little-known symptoms of the disease and gave information about the methods of transmission and treatment.
Scabies; It is a disease caused by the mite (insect) called ‘Sarcoptes scabiei var Hominis’. Scabies mites, which cannot be seen with the naked eye but can be seen with a microscope, cause disease by opening tunnels in human skin. Dermatology Specialist Prof. points out that scabies has become widespread recently with immigrants, drug resistance, sexually transmitted diseases and the increase in the number of elderly patients with compromised immunity. Dr. Burhan Engin explained what needs to be known on this subject as follows:
What kind of disease is it?
Sarcoptes Scabiei var.Hominis is a whitish-brown, eight-legged mite. Female mites are larger than male mites, measuring approximately 0.4 x 0.3 mm. After mating, female mites secrete degradative enzymes that cause skin damage and easily enter the skin. Female mites continue to expand the nest and lay two to three eggs per day before dying after 4-6 weeks. Larvae hatch in 3-4 days. Scabies is a disease limited to our skin. The mite burden on the skin in patients with classic scabies is generally low, limited to an average of 10 to 15 mites during the first attack and approximately half that number in subsequent infections.
Is it only seen in people with low self-care?
No. Scabies is a disease with a high risk of transmission if care is not taken. It can be transmitted by skin contact in as little as 15 minutes. This does not mean that the person has low hygiene, as it can be transmitted in situations where there is social contact, such as dancing, hugging and sleeping in the same bed. Transmission of scabies usually occurs between family members or can occur through direct and prolonged skin-to-skin contact. It is very rare for casual skin contact to cause transmission. Transmission through fomites (e.g., clothing, bedding, or other objects) used by a person with classic scabies is rare. However, due to the much higher parasite load, crusted scabies (Norway Fomite transmission is more likely to occur in the scabies environment.
What should family members do?
When scabies is diagnosed, all people who share the same social circle should receive treatment at the same time, otherwise there will always be a risk of transmission since the cycle is not broken. After infection with scabies, itching and skin symptoms appear 4-6 weeks later. The most important factor in breaking the transmission-disease-host chain is that everyone in the family receives treatment at the same time.
What symptoms should raise suspicion?
There are many reasons that cause itching. Many factors such as allergens, irritants, foods and medications can cause itching. However, the most important symptom of scabies is itching, which wakes you up from sleep, especially at night. Apart from this, intense itching around the belly area and on the hands may be a sign of scabies.
Can it be transmitted from pets?
The scabies mite is an obligate human parasite. The entire life cycle takes place in humans. True scabies mites are not transmitted from animals to humans. The scabies mites responsible for animal scabies belong to different subspecies and are generally unable to reproduce in humans. Reactions to such mites are usually self-limiting and resolve if contact with the affected animal is discontinued.
At what temperature should clothes be washed?
The scabies mite cannot move or pierce the skin below 20 degrees, and at 34 degrees its lifespan drops below 24 hours, regardless of the environmental temperature. If the external environment is above 55 degrees, it dies quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to wash clothes at 60 degrees.
Are itching suppressants helpful?
No. Scabies is a disease and one of its signs is itching. Treatments aimed solely at itching will be ineffective.
Are creams and mixtures sufficient for treatment?
While mixtures and lotions used to be sufficient in the treatment of scabies, systemic medications are now required in some patients as partial resistance has developed.
Can scabies mites survive at room temperature for a long time?
No. In typical conditions (at room temperature and average humidity), mites can survive outside a host for 24 to 36 hours. Survival times may be longer in colder conditions with high humidity.