Intense itching and inflamed, red areas around skin folds may be an indication that you or your child has scabies, a little mite that burrows into the skin.
Before you panic, make sure you’ve gone through these 7 quick points by Waheed Abdurahman, Senior Category Manager at Clicks Head Office, Pharmacy in Woodstock, Cape Town, that dispel the myths around this condition:
Myth 1: Scabies only happens in children
This is not true – both adults and children can contract scabies. It’s important that you keep a close eye on yourself or your children if one of you is diagnosed.
Myth 2: Scabies is highly contagious
Although it can spread among family members that are in close contact, it is not considered highly contagious.
Myth 3: Scabies only happens if your practice poor hygiene
This is not true as even people with excellent hygiene practices can catch scabies.
Myth 4: It is easy to spot and diagnose
Unfortunately, this is not true. Scabies can often be misdiagnosed and be confused with viral, fungal or eczema skin conditions.
Myth 5: Treatment is quick and easy
Sometimes you will need a few days or a few courses of treatment to clear scabies. The mites are tough and very resilient.
Myth 6: Scabies will always itch
The truth is, sometimes it won’t itch at all. Look out for other symptoms such as a red rash usually found in the creases of your arms, under nails, by your armpits, or even at your crotch area.
Myth 7: Scabies is like chickenpox - you only get it once
You can catch scabies often by getting re-infected. To avoid this, make sure that you and your family receive thorough treatment and keep an eye out for symptoms that it’s recurring.