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Itchy skin disease: scabies should be treated as soon as possible
Anyone who thinks of scabies may think that it has long been eradicated. However, Sabine S. had a different experience: “Nobody knew what we could have”. The whole family was affected. “During the night, we scratched our skin to stop the itching and to endure a more bearable pain! It was unbearable ”. The disease is caused by the itch mite. If you suspect that the tiny parasites have spread to your body, you should see a doctor and get treatment quickly.
The number of scabies cases in Germany has increased significantly in recent months. The risk of contracting the itchy skin disease is particularly high in kindergartens and schools.
Infectious disease was considered extinct
Although scabies were long considered extinct in Germany, the infectious skin disease was never completely gone. There have been more and more cases of scabies infections in schools recently. And just a few months ago, an entire ward in a Bonn clinic had to be closed due to scabies cases. The infectious disease is caused by the itch mite. If you suspect that the tiny parasites have spread to your body, you should see a doctor and get treatment quickly.
Scabies can be transmitted from person to person
As the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains on its portal "infektionsschutz.de", scabies, medically referred to as scabies, is a contagious skin disease caused by the itch mite of humans.
It can be transmitted from person to person as well as from animal to person and via clothing or objects.
The disease is usually not dangerous, but extremely uncomfortable for those affected.
Signs of disease from scabies
Burning the skin and itching, which is particularly pronounced in bed warmth, are often the first signs of scabies, according to the BZgA.
“The itching can even spread to skin regions that are not directly from
Itch mites are affected, ”the experts write on their portal.
Accordingly, the spaces between the fingers and toes, wrists, ankles, armpits, elbows, nipples and genitals are primarily affected.
Especially in babies and toddlers, the hairy head, face, palms and feet can also be affected.
In addition, injured skin can purulently ignite due to scratching. With prolonged infestation, a large-scale itchy rash with blister-sized blisters, reddened raised nodules or pustules can develop in response to the mite's excretions.
High risk of infection
The itch mite can spread particularly easily in kindergartens, because there is close physical contact between children. If the scabies occur in the kindergarten, this must be reported to the health department in accordance with the Infection Protection Act.
However, the number of unreported cases of illness is likely to be higher, as it may not include family members who are infected.
“The parents and their offspring only go to the doctor when the first symptoms appear. Affected children are contagious, however, when the families do not yet know about the infection, ”explains Petzold.
"Itch mites can survive outside the human body for a few days and look for a new host during this time," says Petzold.
If you suspect a doctor
If you suspect that itch mites have spread to your body, you should immediately consult a doctor to reduce the risk that other people in the area will also be affected.
As the Hessen Chamber of Pharmacists explains in a message from the dpa news agency, the tiny mites dig tunnels under the skin and therefore cannot be easily washed off.
The patient's skin is examined by the doctor. The doctor can usually identify mites under a microscope.
If scabies are actually diagnosed, the doctor usually prescribes a special cream that is applied to the entire body, whereby the palms of the hands and soles of the feet should not be forgotten.
The face can usually be left out. After about eight to twelve hours, the preparation can be washed off again.
It can take weeks for the first symptoms to appear
It is best to have family members examined too. Because even if they are not itchy, they can already be infected.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), it can take up to five weeks for the first symptoms to appear in the first infection.
In order to completely remove itch mites from the household, Petzold advises changing clothes and bed linen every day and washing them at 60 degrees.
Towels should even be replaced twice a day. Non-washable toys should be packed airtight for seven to 14 days, preferably in a plastic bag.
It also makes sense to vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses every day with a powerful vacuum cleaner. (ad)