First published: 3 October 2022 @ 6:00 pm
When symptoms of scabies appear on the body, there is no other solution than to seek professional help.
It can be difficult for parents to identify that their child has scabies. The rash can appear in a variety of different places and forms.
In addition, many parents do not realize that their baby has scabies since the symptoms are so mild.
Parents may notice their baby scratching but assume that they are just being a fussy baby.
They might also notice little red bumps on their baby’s skin but assume that these are simply chicken pox or eczema.
Common Symptoms of Scabies
Here are symptoms of scabies that you should look out for:
- Tiny, round, red bumps with a clear center (looks like pimples) on the skin.
- A small rash on the belly button, groin, armpits or other body parts.
- An unexplained rash that is located around the genitals. The rash may also be found in other areas of the body.
This type of rash is often called crusted scabies and is caused by skin that has hardened over time because of scratching.
Crusted scabies are typically more obvious than flat scabies since the skin becomes cracked and appears scaly.
Frequent scratching may cause a small red bump or blister at the site of a scratch.
A small rash that appears at the site of a scratch may also be found if you have frequent contact with your baby’s body while changing or bathing them.
How to Treat Scabies
Scabies is a skin condition that is caused by a tiny mite that burrows under the skin and feeds on the body’s blood.
The most common places to find scabies are on the neck, groin, arms and legs.
The best way to treat scabies is by getting professional medical treatment. Weeks after treatment begins, the mites should have completely disappeared.
However, scabies can easily resurface again if you don’t keep up with your hygiene routine.
Photo by Natalie from Pexels.
Scabies treatment can include:
- Anti-itch creams or ointments to relieve an allergic reaction to mites. These initial treatments can be applied twice a day until you see a doctor.
- Prescription creams to relieve the swelling, redness, and itchiness of the skin. You will apply these as directed by your doctor.
- Medicines that can kill the mites and prevent them from reproducing. You will apply these as directed by your doctor.
- Over-the-counter remedies that can help relieve itchy spots and reduce swelling, such as calamine lotion, Benadryl and aspirin (unless you have a sensitivity to aspirin).
These medications are available at your local drugstore. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle carefully, especially if you are allergic to aspirin or another medication you use.
Preventing Scabies in Your Baby
There are several things that you can do to prevent the spread scabies:
1. Keep your baby’s room clean and dry
Poor hygiene and cleanliness are common causes of scabies. So keep your baby’s room clean and dry to prevent the infestation.
You should regularly treat your baby’s bedding with a strong disinfectant like Permethrin or Chlorhexidine.
These products are very effective at killing scabies mites and preventing the female mite’s eggs from hatching.
You can also buy a flea spray and apply it on the mattress of your baby’s bed. The spray can kill any adult fleas that may be on the bed linens.
To prevent mites from spreading through your house, vacuum all surfaces every day.
Especially after you have been outside or spent time in other people’s homes where there is a possible spread of scabies.
2. Always wash hands thoroughly after touching your child’s body
The entire body of your baby is a place where scabies can live and thrive.
If you touch your child’s body without washing your hands, then the eggs and mites that have just left the skin of your baby will travel to the inside of your body.
Therefore, washing hands thoroughly with warm water after any physical contact is very important to prevent scabies skin infection.
3. Do not share clothes with other people
Infected person’s clothes can easily transfer the scabies to your baby. If you have someone in your family with scabies, change all your clothes.
Gloves are also useful in keeping scabies away from people’s skin by protecting it from coming into contact with their skin and any contaminated items.
You can also use an anti-scabies cream for this purpose.
Photo by Gianni Orefice on Pexels.
4. Do not let anyone sleep in your child’s room or share any items
Bacterial infection can easily spread from one person to another. Do not let anyone sleep in your child’s room or share any items like blankets, pillows, etc.
The disease can be spread by sharing clothes and bedding as well.
You should also make sure that you wash your child’s toys and other items that they might have come in contact with as well.
Cleanse all shared items thoroughly.
5. Use scabies-safe bedding
Bed sheets that are made of polyester will trap moisture between the sheets and make it difficult for mites to survive.
The same goes for mattresses and pillows—make sure that they are free from dust mites or other insects.
6. Avoid feathers furnishings
Avoid using any soft furnishings (such as pillows) made of feathers. Intense itching may occur, as the feathers may have mites or eggs on them.
If your child use pillows, remove any visible feathers immediately.
Dust furniture and floors regularly, especially if you have recently moved into a new house or flat. This is where scabies eggs can be left behind.
7. Use a pillow protector
Use a pillow protector to prevent a rash from developing on your baby’s face when you place your baby down to sleep.
Itchy rash that develops on the face can cause serious breathing problems. A rash that develops on the face can also make it difficult for your baby to eat.
If the baby has a rash that is difficult to treat, seek medical advice.
8. Wash your clothes and bedding thoroughly
Hot water and detergent can kill scabies mites, but scabies mites can also be killed by heat.
To prevent scabies in your baby, wash your clothes and bedding in hot water with a detergent. Make sure it is free of phosphates, bleach and fragrances.
This can kill the scabies mites and their eggs, as well as help to reduce any skin irritation caused by the mites.
Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Pexels.
Treating Scabies Infestations
There are several ways to treat scabies, but you should not attempt to treat it yourself.
Your child’s doctor will give you a prescription that contains an over-the-counter or natural remedy you can use to treat scabies on your baby’s body.
You should also be sure to wash all of your clothes and bedding thoroughly before wearing them again.
Scabies is very common among children and best treated by a specialist doctor. It is not always possible to treat this condition at home without professional help.
Our blog, Mature Parent, is dedicated to educating and supporting parents in order to raise happy, healthy children.
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