Tinea Infections: Athlete's Foot, Jock Itch and Ringworm
Type of Rashes, self diagnosis
Q: What is scabies? What does it look like? How do you get it? What is the cure?
A: Scabies is caused by skin infestation with a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. Scabies is spread from person to person by close contact. Individuals often acquire scabies by sexual contact. The mites, however, can survive for more than two days on clothing or in bedding. Close contact among family members can allow scabies to infest an entire household.
Scabies almost always causes itching, which can be severe. The itching can be particularly intense at night. The mites also cause skin lesions almost anywhere over the body, although the scalp, face, and upper back are often spared. The skin lesions represent the mites' burrows. Such burrows are most commonly found on the sides of fingers, the wrists, elbows, and around the armpits. The lesions can vary in appearance. They can appear as skin-colored ridges or blisters or as nodules.
If you suspect you may have scabies, visit your primary care doctor. Your doctor can diagnose scabies by looking at the scrapings of a suspected lesion under the microscope. Seeing the mite or eggs confirms the diagnosis.
Treatment of scabies is aimed at killing the mites and relieving the itch. Your doctor can prescribe a cream, which is applied topically to kill the mites. But even when the mites have been eliminated, itching may continue for months. If this is the case, topical steroids can help. Clothing and bedding should be laundered to prevent reinfestation.
Antifungal Treatments for Athlete's Foot and Jock Itch:
- Tolnaftate (powder spray or lotion; brand names: "Tinactin","Ting");
- Clotrimazole (brand names: "Lotramin AF");
- Miconazole Nitrate ("Micatin")
- Hydrocortisone (Acetate); [brand names: "Cortaid", "Caldecort"]