Many people know about the skin condition scabies, but few know of post scabies. This occurs after scabies due to dead mites that are still present under a person’s skin
Symptoms are similar to those of the first condition, but tend to be less severe. The aggravations that occur can be blamed, for the most part, on the skin’s allergic reaction to the debris and dead mites located beneath the skin.
Unfortunately, the mites will stay under the skin after being killed, which is what causes problems. It usually takes around a month for the mites to decompose completely. After being treated for scabies a person’s skin will most likely be itchy and have lesions, bumps, and minor discomfort. The symptoms should not be as severe, but may cause the same level of discomfort as scabies did. This proves to be more true if the symptoms of post scabies are not treated.
4 Post Scabies Symptoms
Its symptoms include
- Itching, mainly at night: The most prominent symptom is itching, specifically at night. It may be so intense that it keeps a person awake.
- Rash: Many people suffer from the scabies rash. It causes little bumps, often forming a line. These bumps could look like hives, tiny bites, knots under the skin, or pimples. Some people develop scaly patches that resemble eczema.
- Sores: If the rash is scratched it can cause sores, which may lead to an infection.
- Thick crust on skin: Crusts form when a person develops a severe type of scabies called crusted scabies, also known as Norwegian scabies. The crust houses hundreds to thousands of mites and their eggs. With so many mites burrowing in the skin, the rash and itch WILL become severe.
The severe itch will most likely lead to constantly scratching it. An infection can develop due to the non-stop scratching. The scratching may even lead to sepsis, a serious, sometimes life-threatening, condition that develops when the infection enters the blood.
Scabies may be capable of appearing anywhere on the skin, but the mites prefer to burrow in certain parts of the body. The most common places to have itching and a rash are:
- Hands: The mites enjoy burrowing in the skin between the fingers and around the nails.
- Arms: Typically wrists and elbows.
- Skin that is usually covered by clothing or jewelry: The penis, buttocks, belt line and skin around the nipples are common places for mites to burrow. They may also burrow in skin covered by a watchband, bracelet, or ring.
If a person has had scabies in the past, the itching usually starts within 1 to 4 days. If a person has not had scabies, their body needs time to develop a reaction to the mite. Because of this, it can take 2 to 6 weeks to develop symptoms. Sometimes, the above symptoms are confused – difference between flea bites and scabies .
Scabies in children
Some children develop widespread scabies, which is when the rash covers most of the body. A child’s palms, soles, and scalp even can be infested with mites. In babies, the rash is most likely to appear on the palms and soles.
If a baby has scabies they may be quite irritable and often do not want to eat or sleep. Children are often irritable as well, and the itch can keep them awake at night.
Crusted scabies, aka Norwegian scabies
This is a severe form of scabies. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of mites will burrow in a person’s skin. Most people who just get scabies have between fifteen and twenty mites on their skin, so the comparison is obvious.
Crusted scabies favors people with a weak immune system due to a medical condition, the elderly, and people who are living in institutions. It happens because the person’s body cannot develop any resistance to the mites, so they multiply quickly.
One of the more common signs of crusted scabies is widespread crusts on the skin. They tend to be thick, crumble easily when touched, and look grayish in color. The crusts may appear on one or few areas of the body such as the scalp, back, or feet.
How do dermatologists diagnose post scabies?
Dermatologist will often diagnose scabies by a visual examination of a patient’s skin from head to toe. They may even have to scrape off a tiny portion of skin. This is painless. The dermatologist will put the skin on a glass slide so it can be examined under a microscope. If a dermatologist sees mites, or their eggs, it is certain that you have scabies.
How do dermatologists treat scabies?
Treatment is essential in getting rid of scabies. The medicine to treat it is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Who needs treatment?
The person diagnosed with scabies as well as anyone who has had close contact with that person will need to seek treatment, even if they do not have any signs or scabies symptoms. This is the only way to make sure there are no new outbreaks weeks later. People who should be treated include:
- Everyone who lives with the person.
- Recent sexual partners.
Scabies is usually cured with a medicine that is applied to the skin from the neck down. It is applied before bed, and washed off in the morning. The process may require repeating a week later. Infants and young children often need treatment for their scalp and face, too. A dermatologist can provide specific instructions for you to follow.
It is important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions. Treating the skin more times than the instructions call for could very well worsen the rash and itching.
Medicines that may be prescribed include:
- 4-6% permethrin cream: This is the most common treatment. It is safe for children as young as 1 month old as well as women who are pregnant.
- 20-25% benzyl benzoate lotion.
- 8-10% sulfur ointment.
- 5-7% crotamiton cream.
- 1-2% lindane lotion.