Does hot water kill scabies on skin?
Scabies cannot be killed by anything other than a medication prescribed by a physician. Most people who have tried having hot water bath to kill scabies on their skin only ended up with a severe body itch—especially at night.
For you to understand why this happens, let’s study scabies more closely. We’d look at the transfer agent, the symptoms, the mode of transmission and accepted means of treatment.
Firstly, scabies are caused by insects known as mites. Mites are insects with eight legs that they use for crawling. They also have mouth parts that they use for burrowing deep into the skin of human beings.
One thing you need to note here is that humans are the primary hosts of these mites. They reproduce and feed off the human body.
Surely, mites do not generate automatically from pores or follicles in the skin. How then do mites get latched onto the human skin? Let’s study the following modes of transmissions;
How is scabies transmitted
- Through $ex
The transmission of mites from one person to the other is possible when one of the two is affected with scabies. In a scenario where an unaffected person is in close and prolonged contact with the affected, there’s a transfer of the mites. $ex is one way by which that kind of contact can be achieved.
- Through crowding
Another factor that quickly promotes the spread of scabies is a crowded space. This crowded space could be prisons, nursing homes, or even actual living spaces. If someone you share the bed with is affected with scabies, you have a high possibility of contracting it too.
The reason for this is because the mites usually crawl to the materials (bedspread, pillows, watches, clothes, etc.) used by the affected person.
Once the mites get on an unaffected person’s skin via any of the two modes above, their life cycle immediately begins.
Life cycle of a mite
The life cycle of a mite is as follows;
- It starts with a pregnant female mite landing on the skin of the affected individual. The first thing it does is to burrow deep into the tissues of the skin.
The female can lay an egg or two per day continuously for a month. The sites that these mites target are the areas of skin with thin tissues. Example of this area includes the skin between the fingers.
- After the eggs have been laid, the process of hatching starts. This usually occurs about four days after the eggs have been laid.
The larva would then crawl out of the tunnels burrowed by the female mite. They stop when they reach the outermost skin surface and then, burrow into the hair follicles.
- The hair follicles have vesicles that the larva stage of the mites takes house in. It is in these vesicles that the larva changes into the nymph form.
- The nymph changes into the adult form in about seven to eight days.
- The adult mites usually stay on the skin of their host for about a month or two if untreated. During that time, they feed on the skin shed by the human.
They then crawl off the body of their host and then, move on to the surrounding matter. They can last there for about ten days without food.
Once all of these happen, several symptoms begin to show up. They include the following;
Scabies signs and symptoms in humans
- Lesions of the follicles at the point inhabited by the mites. The points include the areola of the brea$t, gen!tals, wrists, skin between the fingers, forehead (most especially in babies), butt0cks, waist, etc.
- Itching which becomes severe at night
- Redness of the affected region
- Secondary infections due to the sores on the skin. The sores occur due to intense scratching by the affected individual.
- Hives which occur as allergic reaction of the skin to the mites.
Most people also believe that they can tell if they have scabies by searching for the mites. This belief is wrong as the mites are too tiny to be seen.
They are only about 0.45mm long. The only way you can ascertain the presence of mites is by scraping off a part of the skin and then, observing the matter under the lens of a microscope.
Scabies treatment for humans
Instead of having hot water bath or running heated towels across your skin to kill scabies on your skin which will do nothing than worsen the condition, rather opt for these safer and accepted treatment options;
- Creams and lotions for scabies
There are several creams that have proven useful in the eradication of the mites that cause scabies. Whatever choice you make should be influenced by your physician. Some of these creams include;
For any of the creams above, it is recommended that the affected person uses it at night. It is at night time that mites are the most active. The creams are usually used for a period of about seven days.
- Medications for the severe itching
The most annoying thing about scabies is the itching. And because it becomes even more intense at night, the affected person is unable to sleep well. Also, the scratching could cause the skin to become exposed to bacteria and other microbes. Medications that can bring relief include these;
- Steroid creams
In situations where the scabies is so severe that the medications above do not work, doctors may prescribe oral drugs like Ivermectin. It gets rid of crusted scabies and all the other advanced cases.
Natural scabies treatment for humans
You could also decide to opt for natural methods of treating scabies. Such natural oils include the following;
- Tea tree oil:
It helps in getting rid of allergic reactions of the skin to the mites. An example of such reaction is rashes.
- Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera works great when the skin is compromised due to the excessive scratching. It has the ability to fight against the presence of bacteria and fungi. However, ensure that the Aloe Vera you use isn’t adulterated with other ingredients.