According to medical journals, scabies is one of most common skin disorder around the world, along with pyoderma and tinea. In children, it is the most common skin disorder. The scabies mites infect people around the world. It infects all ages, all nations and all classes of people in different zones. Scabies thrive in unhygienic and crowded places, a common sight in most of the world’s crowded cities. It is estimated that worldwide, there are 300 million cases of scabies each year. While the figure can be disputed, most medical experts believe that as much as 10 percent of the world population has scabies or signs of scabies.
Since scabies is caused by an infestation on the upper layers of the skin by the human itch mite called Sarcoptes scabiei variety hominis, signs of scabies may be similar to other skin infections. It is important that you know certain things that distinguish scabies from other skin diseases. Symptoms often mirror other types of skin disease like dermatitis, allergic reaction, syphilis and other ectoparasite such as fleas and lice. However, the mites have a different incubation period. For individuals infected for the first time, signs of scabies do not show until after 2 to 6 weeks after the initial infestation. If you have been infected for the past year, the signs can show in just 1 to 4 days.
The clear cut signs of scabies are itching, skin rashes and superficial burrows. If there are no burrow tracks, it may not be scabies after all. The burrow tracks can be visible if you do not scratch your skin and they appear linear that a neat line of four or more equally developed mosquito-like bite is clearly visible. In a normal scenario, the itching can become worse if the weather is warm. The itching may grow more intense at night because the outer layer of the human skin becomes warmer and there are fewer activities to do at night. If you experience itching to the point of irritation, then in all probability, the itching is caused by the scabies mite.
Aside from itching, rashes may occur due to superficial burrows made by the mites. They usually occur in the same areas. The hands, elbows, wrists, buttocks, external genitalia and buttocks are places where rashes can be discovered. In adults the mites does not generally dwell on the skin of the face or on the skin of the scalp. Infants and those who have low immune system may experience rashes on the face and the scalp. But as a general rule, the rashes do not appear on the face and scalp.
The trails of the burrowing mites appear like linear or s-shaped tracks on the skin accompanied by small pimple-like insect bites. These signs are usually found in crevices of the body. The best advice however is to consult a trusted doctor in order to rule out other skin disorders with similar symptoms. If diagnosed early, treating scabies is fairly easy and healing may come in just 10 to 12 days from the start of treatment.