One myth about scabies is that they are the result of uncleanliness. This isn't the case and in fact can occur in any environment because the mite is easily passed from person to person due to contact, sharing items, intimate contact or daily interactions. Accounts have been given by people about how they were picked up in fancy hotels, college dormitories, nursing homes, pre-schools and elementary schools.
There is often an incubation period of several weeks so when you get an itchy rash you often don't think about what you did five weeks ago or the environment you were in. This can make it hard to diagnose and analyze properly. Rashes are also complicated by the fact that they aren't always easy to figure out. You may have heard someone else in class has chicken pox or a fungal infection. Kids also can get impetigo easily which is a bacterial skin red rash.
The first step is always to get a proper diagnosis. Once you do that, you are on your way towards an accurate treatment. Without that, you may be using the wrong types of medication or methods to eradicate the problem. There are so many different types of rashes and even rashes from insect bites. Scabies allergic rashes can look like mosquito bites, chigger bites and other insects. By asking questions to the teacher of your child's class or the director of the nursing home you can try to find the underlying causes of the rash that your child or elderly parent may be suffering from.
If you do find out that the rash is from the scabies mites, the method most prescribed is the permethrin cream at the five percent level. This is a pesticide and will remove the scabies. It is applied overnight and washed off in the morning. Some doctors will give another treatment the following week to remove any stragglers. At the same time, one needs to wash and dry the clothing in a very hot temperatures and place into bags whatever can't be washed for a few weeks so that the mites can suffocate.
The itching can be very challenging to cope with and it's important to use antihistamines to relieve the itching instead of scratching the skin. Scratching the skin can result in bacterial infections that can even develop into impetigo. Permethrin is very effective and needs to also be applied under the nails as well as put on hands again right before going to sleep as it is easy to rub off the cream when one is on the computer or touching things before going to bed. For stubborn forms of scabies in the elderly, there is a pill available called ivermectin that is sometimes prescribed if the creams are not eliminating the problem. If your child has scabies, often the doctor will advise all family members to also use the cream at the same time to eliminate any reinfection.