why do scabies itch more at night
How often should you wash your sheets in order to get rid of the little bastards? Hi Laura. My understanding is it depends on your level of infestation and personal treatment regimen. Regardless, it makes little sense to change sheets without addressing the issue of your mattress first. Buy some painter's plastic from Walmart and cover your mattress with it, which has no doubt acquired a few mites by now. Otherwise, you can change sheets till you're blue in the face and the little bastards will simply re-infest your sheets via your infested mattress. If you've eliminated the mites on your person and a period of three weeks has elapsed since laying the plastic, you can safely remove it (unless you are plagued with bird mite, in which case you may as well bulldoze the place). Many folks on this board change sheets every day. I am on the sulfur ointment three day on/off regimen and so wash sheets every three days. There is some controversy whether standard wash and dry actually kills these things, so some resort to boiling their sheets, washing, drying, bagging sheets and placing in freezer overnight. Either way, add some Borax to your load every time you wash.
Some people develop post scabies syndrome, which causes itching for up to 4 weeks, or even for months.
The cause is an allergic response. Some people just have a more sensitive immune system than others, which is why some get the post scabies itch while others do not. Just like, I'm allergic to cats and my husband isn't. There are 2 schools of thought for what causes this post scabies itch. There is the thought that it is a reaction to the remains left behind by the dead scabies and eggs. Another thought is that the permethrin cream causes an allergic reaction. Both probably contribute to the problem. I am a person who is allergic to many environmental agents, so I can certainly understand why I'd have a reaction to the dead scabies/eggs and/or the permethrin cream used to treat scabies. After all, permethrin cream is a pesticide! If you sprayed Raid bug killer on your skin, don't you think you'd get an allergic reaction? Though permethrin cream is safe for use on humans, it is still just bug killing pesticide! My kids brought home scabies from school. My entire family was treated. Then, about 2 weeks later, we were all treated again because I suspected scabies reinfestation. I am the only one of us who got the post scabies itch. It is different from live scabies infection in a few ways. First of all, I am able to take benadryl and get some relief.
Also I am able to sleep at night. Sleep was absolutely impossible while I had live mites. The itch was too intense. Another difference is that this itch/rash comes and goes. With the itchy rash, I have a feeling like I am being stung by something. Being a Registered Nurse, I read, in detail, the prescribing information for the permethrin and stinging is a listed side affect. My skin is also very dry. If you suspect that you still have active mites living under the skin, your doctor can perform a test. It is simply a scraping of the skin to look for mites under a microscope. If no live mites are found, chances are you have post scabies syndrome. Also, contrary to what some people have posted, permethrin 5% cream DOES kill the mites and their eggs. This is also found in the prescribing literature for permethrin 5% cream. In some cases of poor immune system, improper treatment, or severe infestation, more than one application of the cream may be needed. However, if you keep treating and retreating yourself and it is post scabies syndrome, you will just make your misery last longer as your skin will become more and more irritated and your body will continue to make histamine, which is your immune response to anything that your body sees as a foreign substance that needs to be eliminated.
One more thing that I have seen over and over is the fear of passing, or getting, scabies from or to your dog or cat. This is NOT possible because there are different sub-species of mites that affect humans versus animals. Even if a human mite gets on your animal and bites it, it will die on its own without completing it's life cycle because it can only survive on it's natural host, which is the human. The same is true for mites which use your dog as it's natural host, it can not survive or reproduce on a human. If you don't believe this, call your local vet. He or she will tell you the same. If you do suspect, or have some very understandable post scabies paranoia about still have these nasty little creatures living in your skin, have your doctor perform the scraping test. Please don't continue treating yourself with all these creams and medications if you don't have active live mites. Remember, though considered safe, all medications have potential adverse affects, some can be life threatening! Some things that are helping my post scabies syndrome are Benadryl oral caplets, Benadryl cream or hydrocortisone cream, keeping skin moist with hydrating lotion (I use Eucerin Cream), Aveeno Oatmeal Bath, and calamine lotion.
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