various outbreaks of scabies are taking place in nursing homes Y in schools and kindergartensa problem that shows a significant increase compared to the last decades, as evidenced by a work carried out by researchers from the Carlos III Health Institute.
No, scabies is not a disease of the poor
The reason for this peak can be explained by the behavior of this pest itself, caused by the microscopic mite Saprcoptes scabieiwhich digs the skin producing galleries and burrows.
It is a human parasite that is only transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact between humansor by contact with the clothes of an infected person, as well as by sharing sheets with said person.
In this way, crowds of people are needed, who are not only together but also touch each other, for an outbreak to spread among a group. Consequently, both children, who continually touch themselves, and the elderly, for whom guards can act as a vector of contagion, are high-risk groups. So are hospitals, prisons and detention centers for migrants.
According to the WHOexist in the world, at any moment that is calculated, 200 million people attacked by this miteespecially in poor and tropical countries. However, as highlighted by the Spanish Academy of Dermatology, it is not a disease of the poor.
According to this organization, it is a problem that affects any social and economic class, because the pattern of contagion is not hygiene but contact with the skin or clothing of an infected person. That is why it is also considered a sexual contact and receives the medical name of Scabies.
Explain the New York State health page the symptoms begin to show from the first two weeks after infectionwhich leaves a lot of room for the spread of the outbreak in the aforementioned groups, and it can take up to seven weeks to appear.
If the person has previously suffered an attack of scabies, as this disease has an allergic reactive componentyou will suffer the most visible symptoms after a few days due to the response of the immune system.
Contrary to what is thought, at first these are not visible symptoms, but are expressed in an intense nocturnal itching in the armpits, arms, legs, torso and genitalswhich leads us to scratch intensely.
It is after several itchy nights when the rashes on wrists, buttocks, genitals, nipples, and covered areas like the belt of the pants. If no treatment is applied, these rashes can get worse.
However, they must be determined by a dermatologist to rule out any other dermatological disease, explains the dermatologist Josep Herrero on his website.
How to cure scabies?
According to the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI)scabies is cured with various ointments, the most common being 5% permethrina type of pesticide that is frequently used in agriculture.
Dr. Herrero points out on his page that it is convenient cover yourself completely with this ointment, only excluding the eyes, nose and mouth, as well as the scalp, except in children. The treatment should be done twice a week before going to bed and neither nails nor interdigital membranes should be excluded.
This treatment will be applied to both infected people and those who live with them, but not to animals, since human scabies It does not affect them nor can they transmit it.
Permethrin may be accompanied may be accompanied by oral antihistamines or corticosteroids if the first ones do not take effect. In the case of pregnant women, although permethrin is shown to be safe according to the dermatologist, SEMI cites the sulfur with vaselinejust as effective but with a very bad smell.
Finally, benzyl benzoate it is another substance used to destroy the mite; Sold in pharmacies in the form of a lotion, it is applied to the affected skin at night and is also effective against lice.
What to do with clothes and sheets?
On the other hand, SEMi explains that clothing should be washed at 60ºC or higher, but only the one that we have recently worn, excluding the one that we have not worn for seven days. And we will do the same with the sheets.
If in any case the textile cannot be treated with hot water, it will get in a tightly closed plastic bag for a week. Dr. Herrero assures that any parasite that cannot feed on human skin for more than three days will die.
Therefore, we should not fear being close to our dog or cat. However, in the case of buying second-hand clothes, we will wash them as a precaution in hot water or we will isolate them in plastic bags for a week.
Additionally, the professor and head of the Dermatology Service at Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Pablo Ortiz Romero, explains in this twitter thread that to ensure the success of the extermination we can store the bags in the freezer below -18ºC.
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