|Clinical Guidelines and Treatment Manual (Médecins Sans Frontières, 1993)|
|Chapter 4 - Skin conditions|
Contagious skin infestation caused by a mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. Its occurrence is closely related to a lack of water and poor hygiene.
- Nocturnal itching, scratch marks, burrows between the fingers
(made visible by applying ink, then washing it off), and papules.
- Secondary infection (from scratching) resembles impetigo.
- Whole family is often infested.
- Often localised to: genital region, axillae, chest, breasts, hands and thighs.
- Wash the whole body with a mild soap and dry, then apply 25 % benzyl benzoate emulsion (BBE) to the whole body except head and neck. Use a broad paint brush if available. Allow to dry, then put on the same clothes.
- Repeat for 3 days.
- If a secondary bacterial infection occurs, treat as for impetigo for 4 to 5 days. Only apply benzyl benzoate emulsion once all lesions are closed (is very irritant).
- Treat the whole family. After the treatment, boil and air all clothes and bedding.
- Warn patients that itching may persist for several weeks. This represents an allergic reaction to the dead mites, not treatment failure.