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Scabies

What is Scabies?
Scabies is an extremely itchy rash caused by the presence of a tiny mite, Scarcoptes Scabiei. This mite burrows under the skin to lay its eggs. The rash is caused by the body’s reaction to the mite and the scratching that occurs.

How could my child get Scabies?
Anyone can get Scabies. The mite passes from person to person through skin contact. Children playing together are especially likely to pass it from one to the other. The mites can also survive for about three days off the body. This means that they can be passed on through infected bedding or clothes. Scabies can quickly spread among family members.

How will I know if my child has Scabies?
If your child develops an itchy rash bring the child to your doctor. The doctor may be able to tell just by liking at the rash if it is scabies or may examine some skin scales under the microscope to make the diagnosis.

What should I do if my child has Scabies?
There are several different lotions and creams that kill mites available at the chemist. It is important to follow the instructions that come with the lotion carefully. It is a good idea to treat all family members at the same time even if there are no symptoms.

All clothing and bedding which has been used by the infected person in the three day before treatment should be washed in the HOT cycle of the washing machine. Items which cannot be easily washed, .like pillows or stuffed toys, should be stored in tightly closed plastic bags for four days before using again. The mite cannot survive off the body for more than four days so the pillows or stuffed toys will be free of mites when taken out after four days.

Your doctor or chemist will be able to answer any further questions that you might have concerning scabies and the preparations available to treat it.

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