Scabies is a common infestation caused by mites. It is treated with medicines to eliminate mites. Medicines used for the treatment of scabies can be in the form of creams and lotions or oral medication (to be taken by mouth).
Prognosis of Scabies
Response to treatment: Most cases of scabies can be cured with topical medications (cream that contains a medicine). All the topical medications kill the mites promptly and in most cases, the problem is cured without any long-term problems. Oral medication named Ivermectin may be needed for people with a weak immune system, people who have crusted scabies (Norwegian scabies) or if prescription of topical medications has failed. It is given at a dose of 200 micrograms per kilogram of body weight as a single dose followed by another dose 2 weeks later. It usually cures the infestation.
Itch of scabies: The itching may not stop completely for several weeks after infestation with the mite is cured. If you have persistent itching, you may be prescribed an antihistamine such as Benadryl or a short course of either topical or oral steroids to control itching. Relief from the itching can be obtained by soaking the affected area in cool water and using calamine lotion.
Norwegian scabies: Some people may develop a severe form of scabies with lot of scaling or crusting. This type of scabies is known as Norwegian scabies or crusted scabies. It usually affects people with a compromised immune system (such as with HIV/AIDS), elderly, those who are mentally or physically disabled or have chronic disorder such as lymphoma. Unlike scabies in healthy people, who have no more than 10-15 live mites even if there are hundreds of bumps and pimples, in Norwegian scabies an individual may become infested with hundreds of thousands of the mites. The lesions of this severe form of scabies are extensive and can be present all over the body. In some cases, the lesions may not even be pruritic. The lesions of crusted scabies are more likely to develop secondary infections as with staphylococcus bacteria.
Secondary infection: Intense itching of scabies causes the person to scratch forcefully for prolonged time. This can cause injury to the skin and increase the probability of secondary bacterial infections with bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or beta-hemolytic streptococci.