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Scabies.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: HELP! Scabies and allergies!
From: asolovyo.silver.ucs.indiana.edu (ariadna a solovyova)
Date: 22 Mar 1995 01:38:36 GMT

Dear subscribers,

A friend of mine has been getting a rash all over her body recently. The doctor said it was scabies and gave me Lindane lotion. It disappeared for 3 days, then reappeared and is actually worse now than before. In general, she is allergic to many things, in particular, to horses (but does a lot of horse riding anyway).

Could someone give her any advice on this, any diet tips or references to literature or allergy FAQs etc. I know there have been a lot of talk about allergies here, but I don't know how to get that information now.

Thank you so much in advance!

Ari


From: David.filtermx.demon.co.uk (David Powner)

asolovyo.silver.ucs.indiana.edu "ariadna a solovyova" writes:
> A friend of mine has been getting a rash all over her body recently.
> The doctor said it was scabies and gave her Lindane lotion.

If it's scabies, then it's a parasitic invasion. The treatment will kill them, but clothing and bedding should be laundered, or left unused for at least 4 days, otherwise the infestation will recur as the mites will still be alive in the clothing/bedding.

It has nothing to do with allergies/horses.


From: keving.primenet.com (Kevin Goldstein)

>It has nothing to do with allergies/horses

Furthermore, *if* it's scabies, they can be a bear to get rid of; in many cases, three days of treatment may not be enough to get rid of them. Note also that the *entire* body below the neck must be treated, not just the affected area.

There's another gotcha' with scabies, however, especially if she's had them for a while: you can have a rash for days *after* they are gone, that looks very similar to the active rash caused by the mites. I believe this "secondary" rash is probably caused by the body ridding itself of the dead mites, eggs, and whatever, but I'm not sure about that.

In my experience, scabies are notoriously mis-diagnosed, although in my observation, the error is usually one of omission -- not seeing them when they're the problem, rather than the other way way around. I've seen GPs miss them entirely and prescribe cortisone for "erethyma [sic?] multiforma" (a garbage bag diagnosis meaning "we don't know"); subsequently, a dermatologist pulled out his magnifying glass and definitively diagnosed scabies. Conversely -- and more to the point in your friend's case -- I would think a good dermo should be able to definitively *rule out* scabies if they're not the cause.

Even if you have a proper diagnosis, GPs are probably not the best doctor to go to for this; they may know what the right "theoretical" treatment is, but have little practical experience with making it work (and therefore be surprised by the rash continuing after the treatment, which may or may *not* indicate treatment failure.) If you continue to have problems, I would strongly suggest you see a dermatologist, if only to get a second opinion. (If you continue to have treatment problems after a definitive diagnosis of scabies, e-mail me.)

David, are you sure that 4 days is sufficient for the eggs to die? I recall that the eggs could survive for seven days or possibly more.

As far as I know, I agree that horses don't get scabies; can someone confirm this, however? They are usually spread by skin to skin contact, although the possibility exists to be spread by clothing or other items infected with the eggs.

-Kevin


From: ds5419.panix.com (Don Simon)

>There's another gotcha' with scabies, however, especially if she's had them for a while: you can have a rash for days *after* they are gone, that looks very similar to the active rash caused by the mites. I believe this "secondary" rash is probably caused by the body ridding itself of the dead mites, eggs, and whatever, but I'm not sure about that.

Having just finaly rid my self and roommates of an infestation from a cheating ex-SO, I'd add our recent personal experiences.

One, regular MD's don't have a clue, mine gave me a tentative first diagnosis of syphyilis, then changed the diagnosis to eczema (generic idunno skin disorder) and sent me to a dermo who immediatly diagnosed scabies. Of course he incorrectly told me that there was no need to wash bedding and clothes if they hadn't been used in a couple of hours because the scabbies can't survive off skin at all. I went to the library and found a book on STD's which flatly contradicted him, saying it was EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to wash bedding and clothes in hot water. He also failed to identify the house cat as a potential carrier for the scabies, again in contradiction to the book I'd read. Given that with the cat, and following the dermo's instructions we were reinfested in a week, but following the books instructions we were cured ...

It is important to note that according to the book I'd read, with a person's first scabies infestation, the rash may take up to one month after infestation to make itself evident, but subsequent infestations will cause a rash much quicker, like within a week. I will say that the elemite (sp) the dermo gave us worked very well once we'd cleaned up our environment. It is important to go literally from the hair line down, including the soles of your feet, regardless of what the literature says.


From: campbell.angis.su.oz.au (R Campbell)

> A friend of mine has been getting a rash all over her body recently. The doctor said it was scabies and gave me Lindane lotion.

Hey! I had a very similar experience to this - the difference being that the rash didn't go away at all. The fact that it went away for your friend for 3 days after applying the lotions suggests that something altered in that time. Who knows what?

What happened to me is that I came out in a rash and went to the doctor who diagnosed it as scabies. This was very unlikely, epidemiologically speaking.

Anyway, the ointment had absolutely no impact on the rash. All it did was to make my neck swell up! Charming!

I went to another doctor who took one look at the rash and said "That's not scabies!" She said it didn't have the same pattern as a scabies rash and diagnosed it as an allergic reaction.

I was using two unusual things at the time - goat's milk soap and anti-allergy washing powder. Normally I just use standard washing powder which doesn't give me a rash (although it does make me sneeze!). But my flat-mate was using the anti-allergy stuff.

At any rate, I had washed everything I possessed in this anti-allergy washing powder, for fear of spreading scabies.

The rash went away after a while and my theory is that it was the washing powder - it'd be typical of me to be allergic to something labelled anti-allergy. I had to wait till I'd cycled all my clothes through the wash with normal powder until the symptoms went away. But I still don't know for sure that it wasn't the goat's milk soap.

> It has nothing to do with allergies/horses

I wouldn't be too sure of that. Rashes are very hard to diagnose. Get another opinion. If the scabies cream isn't working then it probably isn't scabies. Incidentally, you can get a very persistant mite infection from horses. Has your friend checked out this possibility?

Rowena


From: angus.suburbia.apana.org.au (Angus John Davidson)

>If it's scabies, then it's a parasitic invasion. The treatment will kill them, but clothing and bedding should be laundered, or left unused for at least 4 days, otherwise the infestation will recur as the mites will still be alive in the clothing/bedding.

I had a case of scabies in the 80's when I was living in the US. I was prescribed Lindane lotion and I had the same problem after being incredibly careful washing bedding,etc.
BE WARNED....LINDANE IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!! I used the lotion several times and finally got rid of the parasite using homeopathy (Bryonia). Lindane damages the liver and can cause circulatory problems in the legs. I believe it contributed substantially to me getting CFS because of the damage it did to my immune system. PLEASE.... look for an alternative.


From: brumstik.interaccess.com (broomstick)

>BE WARNED....LINDANE IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!!

Back when worked in drug rehab and got to fraternize with the unwashed of Chicago I learned first hand WAY too much about lice, fleas, and scabies.

Scabies, as numerous people have pointed out, are highly contagious skin parasites. Lindane IS a poison - but it stops 'em dead in their tracks. ONE application of Lindane is not likely to harm a healthy adult - BUT as many folks have pointed out the rash comes back. Yes, the rash is due to scabies, but they are DEAD scabies and slathering more Lindane on will not help and will, very shortly, make YOU sick.

The little parasites and their (ulp) feces are still imbedded in your skin. This is what causes the rash to come back. It will continue until your skin "grows out" and take the debris with it when finally shed from your top layer. This takes about a month. DO NOT APPLY MORE LINDANE! Go to a dermatologist and ask for an anti-inflammatory. Or use something herbal to take the inflammation away and sooth your skin. Or use something herbal to kill the parasites - but keep in mind the rash will still most likely be with you a month no matter what you do.

Yes, scabies are frequently misdiagnosed. Once you've had 'em, though, you can't forget 'em. If you are re-infected treat early!

As for clothes - they must be washed in HOT water, along with all the bedding. Anything that can't be washed must be avoided for TWO WEEKS to fully interrupt the bugs' lifestyle. Treat the WHOLE HOUSE because you've probably shed into the bed, etc.

Suseptability varies greatly. I've had scabies many times but my spouse has never caught them, despite sharing a bed and, uh, intimate moments. Dry skin makes you much more suseptable.

BTW - you can also be ALLERGIC to scabies, which results in a TRULY spectacular rash (I speak from experience). If this is the case, you may need to take something for the allergic reaction as well as a general itch.


From: E <e.uoregon.edu>

> Having just finaly rid my self and roommates of an infestation from a cheating ex-SO, I'd add our recent personal experiences.

Be very careful with your environment: wash (in hot) all bedding and clothes, then dry 'til they are nice and hot. Wool and silk must be put in plastic bags for two weeks as that is how long the eggs may last off of the host. Put your shoes in the dryer until they get nice and hot. turn over the cushions on your furniture for 2 weeks or wash the covers. Any sustained abrasive contact with an infected object will likely bring reinfection. Turn your matress over. And yes the symptoms can continue to plague one for a month after they are dead as your body is busy dealing with scabie bodies, eggs, and feces. Chiggers from Hell. Also be sure to inform all those who may have had significant bodily contact with you or your environment of the symptoms so that they can watch out for them. It often takes !!SIX WEEKS!! of incubation before an infected person becomes symptomatic. Take care and keep your spirits high.


From: richj.sirius.pixi.com (Richard Jacobson)

: A friend of mine has been getting a rash all over her body recently. The doctor said it was scabies and gave me Lindane lotion. It

If indeed the primary diagnosis of scabies was correct it is no surprise that the problem has recurred. Scabies is caused by a tiny mite that burrows under the skin. Adequate treatment includes treating all family members and santizing clothing and bed linens otherwise the little critters will return.

Aloha,

Rich



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