Scabies in adults and children


The reasons

Symptoms of Scabies


Scabies treatment

Consequences and prognosis

The disease, which affects the skin with a characteristic intense itching and which is caused by a parasite – itch mite, is called scabies.

Scabies is considered to be a highly contagious (contagious) disease. It is customary to think that scabies is a disease of people leading an asocial lifestyle, but the statistics states that representatives of the most diverse strata of society can become infected.

  Both adults and children suffer from this disease. However, most often scabies are diagnosed in children.


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According to the course of the disease, there are several types of scabies:

Typical scabies;

  • this is the most common form of the disease, occurs with pathognomic (unambiguous) signs of scabies.

Scabies without moves;

  • a characteristic feature of this form of the disease is the absence of the main feature – itch moves. Instead, there are vesicles about 2-3mm in circumference. This type of disease is found in those people who have had contact with the patient, but the infection occurred not by adult ticks, but by their larvae.

Scab “cleanliness”;

  • This form of the disease is characteristic of people who have a habit of washing often, or there is a need for frequent washing according to their occupation. This type of scabies proceeds in the same way as the typical form, but the symptoms are less pronounced due to the mechanical removal of most of the mites.

Norwegian scabies;

  • the most severe and particularly contagious form of the disease. On the skin of a patient, up to a million adult ticks are parasitic, whereas with ordinary scabies, their number does not exceed 15-20 individuals. Recalls its appearance psoriasis-like dermatitis, pronounced   hyperkeratosis   skin (growth of the upper layer of the epidermis), and itching is absent. It is often diagnosed in persons with weakened defenses (HIV-infected, tuberculosis patients), as well as in people with mental illness and in drug addicts.

Nodular scab;

  • It is characterized by the formation of bluish or brown hardenings on the skin, which reach 2-20 mm in diameter and persist for several weeks even after the treatment. There are no pincers in the nodules.

Psevdosarkoptoz (psevdochesotka);

  • This form of the disease is inherent in persons whose infection has occurred not from humans, but from animals. The main symptom is pronounced itching and lack of scabies. This form of self-healing after a person has stopped contact with an infected animal.

Complicated scabies;

  • this is a form of typical scabies that has not been treated, characterized by the addition of a secondary infection.

The reasons

The skin parasite causes the disease, it can be seen only under a microscope – a scabies mite. The tick got its name from the ancient Greek word, which translates as “to gnaw meat.”

Infection occurs only from a sick person or his personal belongings, so the main way of transmission of scabies is contact-household, that is, you can get infected by shaking an infected hand or using his clothes and personal belongings. Children often fall ill, sleeping in the same bed with infected parents, communicating with their peers in cramped games.

The disease has seasonality, the frequency of scabies increases in the autumn-winter period. This is due to two factors:

  • first, the tick dies quickly in dry and warm air (+21 o and higher);
  • secondly, in the cold season there is crowding of people and their closer contact.

Of particular importance in the methods of transmitting the tick is sexual intercourse, and some sources therefore regard the disease as a sexually transmitted infection.

Symptoms of Scabies

The disease develops either within a few hours after infection (if adults are on the skin), or 7-12 days after that. Also, the rate of development of the clinical manifestations of scabies is affected by:

  • the number of ticks that hit the skin;
  • human habit of cleanliness;
  • reactivity of the body.

Pathognomic signs of scabies are:

  • itching;
  • available scabby moves;
  • typical location of clinical symptoms.

Itching occurs or is aggravated at night, this is due to the activity of the scabies mite, it is at this time that the female crawls onto the surface of the skin for mating, digging new passages and laying eggs. The longer the disease progresses, the higher the number of ticks becomes, and, accordingly, the itching becomes stronger.

Another characteristic symptom of scabies is the presence of scabies. The moves look like straight (possibly possibly curved) lines that have a whitish or dirty gray color, 1-10 mm long. The moves are usually paired. In the place where the turn ends (blind end), a bubble is visualized in which the female is localized.Through the bubble it looks like a dark point. If a secondary infection joins, the bubbles will suppurate and turn into pustules. When combing moves and pustules, they become covered with crusts, which can be serous or purulent, less often – hemorrhagic.  

Manneles are often located in places where the skin is more delicate and thin. Their favorite localization occurs in the interdigital areas, lateral surfaces of the fingers, the inner side of the wrists, in men – in the scrotum and penis. As the disease progresses, itchs are found on the elbows, feet, armpits, under the mammary glands in women, in the navel, at the waist and on the buttocks. In the end, all skin of the body is involved in the process, with the exception of the face and area of ​​the hair on the head.

Scabies in childhood

Clinic of scabies in children is practically no different from the manifestations of the disease in adults, but it is more severe, and the defeat of the skin is faster. Very soon, the child’s entire skin becomes covered with scabies and crusts, including the face and scalp. When a baby is ill before the year, itching even extends to the nail plate: they become thick, loosened and tend to crack. In addition, children have a higher percentage of secondary infection, which is associated with unformed immunity.


It is necessary to conduct a differential diagnosis of scabies in order to distinguish her symptoms from pruritus,  neurodermatitis, thrombidiasis, cereal scabies, and pseudochemosis.

To diagnose the disease, laboratory methods of research are used, with the help of which the presence of a scabies mite is established:

  • extracting scabies itch in the traditional way – using a needle – and then examining it under a microscope;
  • thin sections of the stratum corneum of the skin in the area of ​​scabies, allowing to determine both the tick and its eggs;
  • layer-by-layer scraping in the area of ​​the blind end of the course until blood appears, after which the resulting material is examined under a microscope;
  • drawing an alkaline solution on the skin, as a result it macerates (softens), it is sampled and microscopically.

Helps to detect scabies and tincture of iodine. When coloring damaged skin, the passages turn brown and look like dark lines on a lighter skin background (it is light brown). You can also inspect the location of the proposed localization of moves videodermoskoskom (magnification 600 times).

Scabies treatment

Scabies is treated by a dermatologist. In no case should not be treated independently, as you can start the process or treat not scabies, but a disease similar to it.

The following drugs are used for therapy:

  • benzyl benzoate. Ointment or soap-and-water suspension treats the skin for 2-5 days;
  • Sulfuric ointment. Once a day, before going to bed for 5-7 days, the ointment is rubbed into the affected skin;
  • spreagel. Spray the affected skin is treated for 3 days, if necessary, repeat the treatment after 10 days;
  • crotamiton. The affected surfaces are smeared with cream 2 times a day for two days;
  • lindane. Lotion lubricates all skin, the drug is left for 6 hours, it is applied once;
  • permethrin. With the help of a cotton swab, the affected areas are lubricated; the duration of treatment is 3 days;
  • ivermectin. Damaged areas of the skin are treated with ointment once, if necessary, repeat the treatment after 14 days.

For successful treatment of the disease, you should follow the rules:

  • all people living together should be treated; it should be carried out simultaneously;
  • nails should be cut short;
  • treatment with drugs must be carried out with bare hands, as they are often involved in the process;
  • drugs applied at bedtime when the activity of the pathogen increases;
  • before and after treatment should be washed;
  • underwear and bedding are changed daily;
  • follow-up examination of the doctor is carried out after 14 days.

Consequences and prognosis

Scabies can lead to the following complications:

  • pyoderma;
  • post streptococcal glomerulonephritis;
  • rheumatism (seldom);
  • furunculosis;
  • abscesses;
  • microbial eczema;
  • allergic dermatitis.

  In rare cases, the development is possible:

  • impetigo;
  • pyogenic pneumonia;
  • septicemia;
  • faces;
  • felon

The prognosis for timely and quality treatment is favorable.

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