What Is Scabies?
Scabies is a serious skin disease that includes sudden eruption of red rashes, itchiness, and severe skin irritation. It is a highly contagious disease that spreads with contact. The causing factor of this disease is a microscopic eight-legged mite called Sarcoptes scabies.
Therefore, if you know any person who has been diagnosed with scabies, you must avoid close physical contact with them. Generally, these mites affect small kids and young adults. Approx. 300 million people get infected by scabies globally every single year.
Types of Scabies
Scabies has just one type that is caused by infiltration by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. However, it is categorized into three subtypes based on the kind of infestation:
- Typical: It is the most common kind of infestation. The typical scabies results in itchy red rashes on common body parts like hands, wrists, etc.
- Nodular: It is a more discomforting kind of scabies that develops on the private parts of the human body like the armpits, groin, and genital regions. It results in grotesque red, itchy, and raised bumps.
- Norwegian Scabies: It is the most intense kind of scabies that results in the formation of crusted scabs commonly known as Norwegian scabies. It is highly contagious and severe, resulting in the development of thick crusts containing thousands of eggs and mites.
Causes of Scabies
Female scabies lay eggs after burrowing under the human skin. Those burrows soon get filled with scabies larvae that slowly move over the skin surface and spread over other parts of the body. They also move on to those who come in close physical contact with the host. The host thus becomes the primary cause of scabies infection. Other such host-based causes include:
- Kids attending school with infected kids.
- Parents of kids infected with scabies.
- Sexually active people with multiple partners.
- People with weak immunity and those receiving implants.
- HIV/AIDS patients
Risk Factors in Scabies
Scabies is a contagious disease and people who are more inclined to get infected include:
- Skin to skin contact
- Sexual contact
- Those who share towels, sheets, and clothes with each other
Symptoms of Scabies
There are several signs and symptoms of scabies. The most noticeable ones include:
- Sores: Sores appear on the areas where the scabies patient scratches multiple times. The open sores often result in impetigo, a secondary infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
- Rashes: As the scabies mites go deeper under the skin, they start forming burrow tracks. Most of these burrows are present in skin folds and look like skin patches, pimples, bites, or hives. They slowly grow to form blisters.
- Itching: It is one of the basic symptoms of scabies that gets worse at night or as the infection proceeds.
Diagnosis of Scabies
Scabies is diagnosed through a close examination of the skin. The doctor looks through the skin for signs of mites' presence and characteristic burrows. When a mite burrow is located, the doctor will take a scrap of skin and examine it under the microscope.
Apart from that, there is a Burrow Ink Test that can be very helpful in locating the mite burrows in the skin. The doctors perform this test by dropping some fountain pen ink over the infected skin and then wipe it away.
Scabies Treatment in Ayurveda
Ayurveda states that Scabies is closely related to Pama. It is a disease caused by vitiation of the Pitta and Kapha dosha. Ancient Indian science treats the infestations by thorough blood purification and application of herbal maladies to alleviate the symptoms.
Along with, there are several Panchakarma therapies that play a key role in scabies natural treatment:
- Nasal Congestion (Nasya): The nose is considered as the entrance for various toxins. Therefore, detoxification needs to be carried out through the nose. Nasya is the process of administering medication through the nose. The process removes excess toxins from the head, nasal, throat, and sinus areas. So, if the infestation has taken place through the nose and the symptoms are noticed on the upper parts of the body, nasya is done to take care of the first part of the treatment - detoxification.
- RaktaMokshana: It is the most successful therapy used for scabies treatment in Ayurveda. It involves cleansing of the blood for permanent eradication of scabies. This process cleanses the toxins present in the abdomen and gastrointestinal tract that are transfused into the blood and thereby circulated to other parts of the body. It is known as toxaemia and is one of the fundamental causes of repeated infections. Rakta Moksha helps in the removal of those toxins and thus saving the body from various toxic problems like eczema, scabies, acne, rashes, etc.
Home Remedies for Scabies
Doctors do not recommend any home remedies for scabies. However, there are a few things that can be done along with the regular treatment to alleviate the itching, irritation, and other discomforting symptoms.
- Turmeric: The curcumin present in turmeric is really effective in relieving the symptoms.
- Essential Oils: Clove oil happens to be a natural bug killer and can easily kill the mites underskin. The list includes nutmeg, lemongrass, and lavender that can be helpful in the cause.
- Aloe Vera: Its natural gel can cure the affected area and soothe the irritation and burning sensation out of it.
Preventions for Scabies
- Always use and wear clean and loose clothes, linens and towels. While washing the worn clothes, make sure you use hot water and dry the clothes in sunlight.
- Things that cannot be cleaned or washed should be sealed in a plastic bag for several weeks to kill the mites.
- Sterilize your home since the inception of treatment.