Treatment for scabies

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The human body is a complex structure consisting of multiple organs that work in synchrony to perform every little function that is essential to life. The skin comprises the outer surface that provides protection to all internal organs contained in the body.

Every day the skin is exposed to about millions of organisms in the surrounding environment, some of which harm the skin and some of which are harmless.

When the skin gets infected by a mite like organism called the sarcoptus scabiei, it results in a contagious itch called scabies.

Treatment options available to treat scabies are as given below.

1) Application of Mite Killer cream.
Permethrin cream is normally used to treat scabies. These creams are recommended for all age groups above 2 years of age and also in the elderly. It is one of the safest and most effective treatment for scabies. The cream is usually applied from the neck down and to other regions of the body and left overnight. The cream is washed off in the morning. Repeated application is recommended after seven days.

2) Oral Medication.
An oral scabicide that is normally used for treatment of scabies is Ivermectin or stromectol.
It is anti-parasitic and an effective scabicide. The dosage recommended is in relation to body weight and is taken as a single dose. Although recommended by CDC, it does not have the approval of FDA due to its toxic side effects. It is generally used when topical medications are not effective.

3) Use of Sulphur.
This is one of the earliest treatments for scabies. It is normally used as one of the components in creams. Sulphur in petrolatum used as sulfo-Lac or sulfo-Lo is common. This again does not have the approval of FDA and is used when Permethrin and Ivermectin are not tolerated well.

4) Use of antihistamines.
One of the symptoms of scabies is itchiness and antihistamines provide relief from it. Having a bath in cold water instead of hot water also helps relieve itching.

5) Use of steroids.
Steroids are also prescribed and when administered, help in controlling itchiness.

6) Maintaining general hygiene.

Scabies mites are parasitic and hence don’t live outside the body for long. Washing used linen by scabies affected individuals in hot water is effective enough. Intense cleaning by spraying the house with scabicide is usually not necessary.

7) Abstaining from sexual contact.

Scabies is normally transmitted by close contact and hence abstaining from sexual contact with an affected person helps prevent scabies.

8) Tea Tree oil.
Terpenin-4-ol, a compound present in Tea Tree oil is a natural scabicide. It also acts as a disinfectant and has antiseptic properties.

9) Neem leaves and Neem oil.
Neem has antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. The smell of neem oil prevents scabies mites from reproducing thereby reducing the severity in couple of days. Neem is used to treat various skin problems.

10) Home Remedy.

Turmeric is a herb that has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Use of turmeric helps relieve the symptoms significantly.

11) Drink a lot of water and change your diet.

While drinking water and changing your diet does not have a direct influence on treating scabies, it helps retain nutrients in the body that are necessary to keep the skin healthy preventing dryness and reducing itching sensations. Foods that naturally contain histamines can worsen the condition and are strongly recommended against.

12) Epsom Salt bath.

Epsom salt is simply a mixture of Magnesium and Sulphate and is a natural remedy for a number of ailments. These salts help reduce inflammation due to the infection.

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