Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to deal with Scabies

A few months ago, my toddler daughter developed red itchy bumps under her armpits. I took her to the hospital thinking that it was just a fungi infection. The pediatrician agreed with me and gave me a cream- xtraderm. It did work. But only for a short while. The minute I stopped applying the cream, the bumps were back, only this time, they were more aggressive and spreading fast. Scabies in toddlers in something I had never heard of. As a matter of fact, I had never heard of scabies before.

Could It be Protein Allergy

I took her back and this time, I was given yet another cream and anti-histamine. I was told that she had a protein allergy. We were therefore to ensure that she did not take eggs and daily products like cow milk were taken in moderation.These measures did not help the situation. The rashes became more and continued to spread. She now had them on her palms and both of her hands. They were also extremely itchy.

The Itch Turns Contagious

The straw that broke the camels back came when all of us in the house started feeling very itchy. That is when I knew that what she had was contagious. I scratched so much on my hands, wrists and legs. The itch was worse in the evening just before we went to bed.I felt really bad. As bad as I felt, I could not imagine what my daughter was going through. And her rashes looked far much worse than anybody else. I had to take the bull by its horns and look for a solution myself.A quick search online brought forth a number of options, but the one that matched our case to the T was scabies in toddlers. This option was however the one that made no sense to me at all. I could not begin to think where she could have contracted it from. No one I've ever known has suffered from scabies infestation. I did not even know what scabies mites were at the time.

What is Scabies?

Scabies are tiny mites that bury themselves just below the skin where they lay their eggs. The mites are accompanied by extreme itch and scratching the areas results in bumps. Using hot water to clean the skin does not help the situation. A special cream has to be applied twice for the mites to die.

How we Contained the Situation

Containing the scabies infestation is a little tricky since anything the affected person has touched can increase the spread. A scabies cream should be applied twice by every member of the household, the second application being done twelve hours after the first.

Every part of the body should be covered from the face to the areas between the toes and the fingers.
First take a shower before bed, then apply the cream and go to sleep. After twelve hours, apply the cream again without taking a bath and let it sit for another twelve hours. This should be repeated after five to seven days.

The hard part is ensuring that you kill the mites and the eggs in cloths and seats and the carpet. Vacuum the carpet and clean the seats and other surfaces meticulously. All the cloths that have been worn in the last week should also be cleaned in boiling water.

Another alternative is to iron all the cloths and bedding thoroughly or to put them in a tightly closed polythene bag and leave it alone for at least five days. By then all the mites should be dead.

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