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Although it is a health problem that may sound like something typical of the Middle Ages, I assure you that

scabies is very present in Spain today.

In reality, we have seen an

increase in cases since 2014,

but with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, the incidence has skyrocketed without us being very clear about the causes.

Some experts point to confinement as a possible cause

, but it has been left behind for a long time and

the number of cases does not improve

, with reports being issued in this regard by the National Epidemiology Center.

If you want to know everything about this problem that bothers those who suffer from it, I invite you to continue reading.

What causes it?

Scabies, also called

scabies

, is a

skin problem caused by small mites

called Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis.

With their

barely 400 microns in size

, their four pairs of legs and their rounded body, these parasites are bringing the health community upside down.

How do these mites act?

Their way of life and reproduction looks like something out of a gore movie.

After infecting us,

the males fertilize the females on the surface of our skin

.

After copulation, the male dies and the female digs tunnels under our skin where she lays several dozen eggs.

When they hatch, the new Sarcoptes scabiei come to the surface of our skin to continue reproducing.

Who is affected?

To men and women alike and regardless of their age.

We are seeing cases in the elderly, babies, young adults...

This parasite makes no distinctions

.

What symptoms does it cause?

The main symptom is

itching

.

It is what first appears after contagion and has its origin in the irritation that the droppings and eggs of scabies mites cause on our skin.

After days of intense itching, welts and blisters

begin to be visible ,

as well as marks in the form of a straight line on our skin that are nothing more than the tunnels that dig under it.

Where does it usually attack?

Marks on the epidermis can appear anywhere on the body.

Although they are

more frequent in the hands and feet, followed by the wrists

, the folds of the elbow and the armpits, the waist or even the inguinal area.

These mites have

a special predilection for skin folds,

which is why they tend to appear more frequently on the hands in the spaces between the fingers.

It is contagious?

a lot

.

We can become infected simply by shaking hands with an infected person, and the main route of infection is skin-to-skin contact.

But not only human skin is the form of contagion,

so is the clothing of an infected person.

Gestures such as sharing clothes, towels or sleeping in a bed with the sheets of a person with scabies are more than enough for contagion to occur.

Scabies mites can live on clothing for up to three days

, so be especially careful and avoid sharing clothing.

Is it true that the origin of the outbreak is the changing rooms of the stores?

We are not aware of such a thing

, but it is true that if a person with scabies tries on a garment, they do not buy it, they leave it in the store and then another person tries on that same garment, it is very easy for contagion to occur .

The risk is real and exists unless that garment is disinfected

or quarantined for three days.

Incubation period

From the time the infection occurs and until the first symptom appears, itching, it can take from a few days to three weeks.

The incubation period for scabies is highly variable, and this makes it extremely difficult to break the chain of transmission.

Which is the treatment?

Once diagnosed, the doctor will indicate the treatment.

The first choice will be a lotion that we must apply all over the body

, not only where we have injuries, and repeat it for several days.

This is more and more often not enough, it seems that recently the mites resist these lotions that have been used successfully for years, so it

could be completed with an oral treatment.

If the itching is unbearable,

creams with corticosteroids or antihistamines could also be added.

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