How can I test myself for scabies? Have you found yourself wondering this? Have you developed an unfamiliar rash that is itchy and giving you trouble? If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you are in the right place, my friend. Read on and you will have the answers to all your queries.
What Is Scabies?
Scabies is a disease in which microbe infect the body, causing rashes that spread quickly. It affects the upper layer of the skin and tiny borrows are noticed in the are of infection. People can try to self test themselves for the scabies but only a doctor can do the confirmatory test. It is not possible to diagnose scabies at home.
It is done in a lab through Ink Test and Polymerase Chain Reaction Test(PCR). Also, one shouldn’t misdiagnose themselves with scabies on observing symptoms of other diseases which are similar with the symptoms of scabies.
How does scabies infect an individual?
Scabies is a condition that is characterized by a rash on the skin. If an individual is infected with the microbe causing this disease, he will notice an itchy rash that spreads quickly to other parts of your body as well. You will also notice tiny burrows in the area where the rash has developed.
The microbe infects the upper layer of the skin of an individual and lays its eggs there. On average, 10 – 15 mites are sufficient to cause a scabies infection in an individual.
How can I test myself for scabies?
A scabies test can only be done by a doctor in a medical setup. It is not possible to test yourself for this skin disease in your home. If you have developed scabies a couple of times, there is a good chance that you can suspect the infection in the early stages of the disease, but there is no way that you can perform a confirmatory test at home to know whether or not you are suffering from a scabies infection.
Self Inspection You Can Perform
Here is a list of checks you can perform on yourself to determine the presence of scabies. These tests are not confirmatory in nature and you will still need to visit a doctor if you want to be sure:
- Intense itching in the area that has been affected eg, webs of the fingers, legs, hands, or genitals.
- Small red bumps or nodules that look similar to pimples.
- Zig-zag or S-shaped lines. These are the borrows created by the parasite.
- Secondary wounds from itching.
- Crusting, in advanced cases.
How Is Scabies Diagnosed?
In general, if you visit your general practitioner with the symptoms, the doctor will examine the rash and look for signs of burrowing under the skin.
Your doctor will then take a small amount of skin scraping and send it for testing to a laboratory. The presence of the microbe Sarcoptes scabiei will confirm a scabies infection.
Tests Used To Identify Scabies
These two tests are most popular to determine scabies in an individual:
- Ink Test
In this test, a drop of special ink is placed on the affected area. The drop is then wiped away. Your medical practitioner will then examine the area under a magnifying glass to observe if the ink remains in the burrow. This test does not always successfully reveal the presence of scabies.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR)
This is an advanced test that involves genetic testing of the scabies microbe. If the skin scraping has even a tiny part of the parasite, it will be revealed in PCR testing.
Differential Diagnosis For Scabies
It is likely that on some occasions you may misdiagnose yourself with scabies on the basis of the symptoms that you observe. We have made a list of conditions that are similar to scabies so you can find it easier to differentiate between the conditions:
Allergies to food or medicine
These allergies are more specific in nature than scabies. Scabies tends to present themselves all over the body, while allergies to food or medicine are characterized by small red bumps that occur around the mouth.
Symptoms Of Scabies vs Other Diseases
This is characterized by a flat red patch. The rash in contact dermatitis will occur only in the area that came in contact with the allergen.
This is a severe form of bacterial infection of the skin. Clusters of open wounds develop all over the body. Most of the wounds will develop a crust as well.
This is another skin condition in which the patient develops tiny red spots that might be itchy or not. There is characteristic redness of the affected area.
The patient suffers from itchy, thick, light-colored patches on the skin in this disease. This is a skin condition that develops as a result of an autoimmune disease.
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