Itchy skin disease: scabies spread further
Many people think that scabies has long been a thing of the past in Germany, but there have always been phases in which the itchy skin disease has returned. The unpleasant illness has been spreading in northern Germany for a long time. In Hamburg, the number of people affected has doubled.
Infectious skin disease was considered extinct
Although scabies were long considered extinct in Germany, the infectious skin disease was never completely gone. There have been more and more cases of scabies infections in schools recently. And just a few months ago, an entire ward in a Bonn clinic had to be closed due to scabies cases. The number of scabies cases is currently increasing in northern Germany.
The number of people affected has doubled
“We are seeing a sharp increase in the most important groups of active ingredients for the treatment of scabies. With the corresponding ointment, the number of prescriptions in Hamburg rose by 64.5 percent within one year, and with tablets even by 90.5 percent, ”said Frank Liedtke, Managing Director of Barmer in Hamburg in a message.
"The number of people affected has more than doubled within two years," continued Liedtke.
Regulations with the active substances permethrin and ivermectin from 2016 and 2017 were evaluated.
No question of hygiene
"Those affected do not have to be ashamed, because an infection with scabies can affect everyone and is not necessarily due to a lack of hygiene," said Dr. Utta Petzold, dermatologist at Barmer.
“In addition, the scabies can initially be overlooked. Then the itching caused by the small mites is confused with the symptoms of skin eczema and also treated in this way, which in turn conceals the scabies, ”continues Petzold.
As the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains on its portal "infektionsschutz.de", the scabies, medically referred to as scabies, is a contagious skin disease caused by the itch mite of humans.
It can be transmitted from person to person as well as from animal to person and via clothing or objects.
The disease is usually not dangerous, but extremely uncomfortable for those affected.
Signs of disease from scabies
Burning the skin and itching, which is particularly pronounced in bed warmth, are often the first signs of scabies, according to the BZgA.
“The itching can even spread to skin regions that are not directly from
Itch mites are affected, ”the experts write on their portal.
Accordingly, the spaces between the fingers and toes, wrists, ankles, armpits, elbows, nipples and genitals are primarily affected.
Especially in babies and toddlers, the hairy head, face, palms and feet can also be affected.
In addition, injured skin can purulently ignite from scratching. With prolonged infestation, a large-scale itchy rash with blister-sized blisters, reddened raised nodules or pustules can develop in response to the mite's excretions.
High risk of infection
The itch mite can spread particularly easily in kindergartens, because there is close physical contact between children. If the scabies occur in the kindergarten, this must be reported to the health department in accordance with the Infection Protection Act.
However, the number of unreported cases of illness is likely to be higher, as it may not include family members who are infected.
“The parents and their offspring only go to the doctor when the first symptoms appear. Affected children are contagious, however, when the families do not yet know about the infection, ”explains Petzold.
"Itch mites can survive outside the human body for a few days and look for a new host during this time," says Petzold.
The expert therefore recommends changing clothes and bed linen every day and washing them at 60 degrees. Towels should even be replaced twice a day. Non-washable toys should be packed airtight for seven to 14 days, preferably in a plastic bag.
It also makes sense to vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses every day with a powerful vacuum cleaner. (ad)