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Scabies - Mites Dig Deep Under Your Skin

Apr 6, 2008
Scabies are generally transmitted through intimate skin to skin contact, such as sleeping together with an infected individual. The disease is a type of skin disease which is highly infectious. It is caused by a microscopic mite scientifically known as sarcoptes scabei and characterized by an inflammation.

The mites cannot fly or jump but just crawl very slowly. They can live for four days outside of their human host. They can reach humans through clothes, linens and other personal items that have been used by an infested person.

The itch mite that causes the scabies is called Sarcoptes scabiei. This type of mites is attracted by the heat and the smell of the human body. Female mites go into the skin, literally digging small tunnels, the size of very small threads, which sometimes are visible. That is the place where the parasites lay their eggs.

It is transmitted by close contact and direct touch of an infected individual or by touching items, which were contaminated by an infected person, such as a doorknob, or a cup, or if you touch the clothes previously worn by a contaminated person.

The parasite goes under the skin very quick, especially under rough areas, or areas, which present wrinkles, for example the skin of the elbows, between the fingers, and knees.

The female mite can lay up to twenty eggs, and then it dies. After three days, the eggs inside the tunnels in the skin will become larva. The larva will then surface and become adults fourteen to seventeen days later. This life cycle continues until they are finally eradicated.

Sarcoptes scabiei contaminate only humans and not animals. In the same manner animal mites cannot infect humans because they cannot thrive and produce eggs on the human body.

Still, they can live long enough on human skin to cause itches, allergies, or produce papules in a few days. As we mentioned before, scabies are very contagious. Parasites can be transmitted to healthy people even after the infected ones have no more symptoms, if they are not treated properly. After the first contamination takes place, several weeks must pass so that the symptoms are back on the skin.

All this time, the patient is highly contagious, because this time is also known as the incubation period. The symptoms as well as the manifestation of the affection become more pregnant after taking a bath or especially during the night. Sometimes they can be mistaken with dry skin, because that is how they look.

Itching can be brought about by the person's allergic reaction to the mite. For children and the elderly, even more acute itchiness might be experienced.

The skin will produce pimply rashes at the skin surface. This is because of the tunnels dug under the skin by the mites. A small black spot can be seen at the end of the burrow, which is actually the mite itself.
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