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Scabies
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Scabies

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

Hair/Nails/Skin

 

Causes

The mite that causes scabies in humans is microscopic and almost impossible to see without a magnifying glass. The female mite burrows just beneath your skin and produces a tunnel in which it deposits eggs. The eggs mature in 21 days, and the new mites work their way to the surface of your skin, where they mature and can spread to other areas of your skin or to the skin of other people. The itching of scabies results from your body's allergic reaction to the mites.

Close physical contact and, less often, sharing clothing or bedding with an infected person can spread the mites.

Dogs, cats and humans all are affected by their own distinct species of mite. Each species of mite prefers one specific type of host and doesn't live for long away from that preferred host. So humans may have a temporary skin reaction from contact with the animal scabies mite. But humans are unlikely to develop full-blown scabies from this contact, as they might from contact with the human scabies mite.

When to seek medical advice

Bathing and over-the-counter preparations won't eliminate scabies. Talk to your doctor if you have signs and symptoms or if you believe you've had contact with someone who has scabies.

Many skin conditions are associated with itching and small bumps on the skin. If you have an itchy, irritating skin condition, see your doctor to determine the exact cause so that you receive proper treatment.

Screening and diagnosis

To diagnose scabies, your doctor will examine your skin, looking for signs of scabies, including their characteristic burrows. When your doctor locates a mite burrow, he or she may take a scraping from that area of your skin to examine under a microscope. The microscopic examination can determine the presence of mites or their eggs.

Complications

Vigorous scratching can break your skin and allow a secondary bacterial infection such as impetigo to occur. Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin that's caused by either staph (staphylococci) or strep (streptococci) bacteria.

Scabies > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:10 AM