Mange is a skin condition caused by mites. It is important to note that mites are miniature parasites that feed and live on or under the skin. Mange can be itchy and manifest as reddened lumps or blisters.
One can acquire mange from animals or from human-to-human contact. Scabies is a common form of mange in humans. In most cases of mange and scabies, it only involves the skin and can be treated. Remember that these conditions are highly contagious and puts one at risk for a secondary infection.
What are the signs?
Mange can trigger intense itchiness, rash and redness. The symptoms might arise within 4 weeks after the mites infest the skin. The sensitivity of the skin to the protein and feces from the mites triggers the symptoms. Take note that a mite that causes mange among humans remains on the skin around 10-17 days.
The usual signs of mange include:
- Intense itchiness especially at night time
- Skin rash
- Elevated, skin-colored or grayish-white tracts, blisters or bumps on the skin surface from the burrows created by the female mites
The skin condition is likely to affect the skin folds in the body such as armpits, finger webbings, buttocks, shoulder blades, base of the feet, male genital region, breasts and inner elbows, knees and wrists.
Management of mange
Various methods can be utilized to manage mange. In most cases, the doctor prescribes medications to eliminate the mites and their eggs.
Aside from prescription treatments, it is vital to clean all clothing and linens in the house. This is done by washing them in hot water and drying using a dryer, dry cleaning or setting in a plastic bag for a few days.
Even the family members of the household should undergo treatment as well even if they do not have indications of mange.
One approach is to soak in cool water or apply a cold compress to soothe the affected areas. Calamine lotion can also be applied on the affected skin to alleviate the irritated or itchy skin.
In case an allergic reaction to mange occurs, over-the-counter antihistamines can be given to lessen the symptoms.
Remember that scratching the affected areas can cause damage to the skin. This puts one at risk for a secondary bacterial infection. In such instances, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic.