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What is scabies?

  • Scabies is a very itchy skin problem, that:

  1. commonly affects the hands, wrists and fingers.

  2. It can affect the elbows, armpits, nipples and buttocks.

  3. In males, the genitals are often affected.

  • The itch is worse at night.

How do you get scabies?

  • This condition is caused by the scabies mite (Sarcoptes Scabiei var. Hominis), which is a small parasite that burrows into the skin of infected patients.

  • It is usually transmitted by close person-to-person contact, and by sharing the same bed or clothings, especially among children and people with poor hygiene.

  • The whole family can be affected as scabies is quite infectious.

How is scabies treated?

  • The mite can be killed rapidly by the use of an effective medication:

  1. Benzyl benzoate emulsion

  2. malathion

  3. permethrin…

  4. oral ivermectin

  • Attention should be paid to the specific instruction on how the medication should be used.

Why does it itch even after treatment?

  • You may still itch for some days to weeks,after correct treatment:

  1. This is because of the development of a hypersensitive reaction of your body to the dead mite.

  2. Your doctor may prescribe anti-histamine tablets and steroid creams to stop the itch.

  • DO NOT APPLY the anti-scabies medication repeatedly, and excessively unless advised by your doctor, as you can develop a more severe dermatitis.

What is the medication to treat Scabies?

  • These include:

  1. benzyl benzoate emulsion (for 3 days)

  2. malathion (Derbac) (1 day)

  3. crotamiton (Eurax) lotion or cream (5 days)…

  4. oral Ivermectin

  • For infants and young children, it is preferable to use crotamiton, or permethrin.

How should the medication agent be applied ?

  • First Evening : Immediately after a shower, apply the lotion to the whole body from neck downwards, even to the unaffected areas. Do not forget the soles, armpits, genitals and other body folds. Do not apply on the face. Do not wash away the lotion until the next evening. Re-apply the lotion on the hands each time you wash them.

  • Second and Third Evenings: Repeat the above treatment in the same manner. To eradicate any mites in the family, all warm clothings should be washed in hot water and then sunned. Bed linen, pillow case, pillows, mattresses should be dusted and sunned.

Is it necessary to treat family members?

  • Any family member with the following (whether symptomatic or not) should be treated at the same time:

  1. itch

  2. close body contact

  3. sharing of the same bed or linens

  • Your doctor would usually supply sufficient medicine for all of them

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