The Meaning Of Nodular Scabies
Nodular scabies isn't so much a different brand of a scabies infestation so much as it's the body's reaction to a scabies infestation. Scabies is a disorder caused by a very small mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, which though barely visible to the naked eye, can wreak havoc if it gets out of control. These little mites burrow in the skin, where the female lays her eggs.
It seems bad enough to find out there are mites in your skin laying eggs, but if that was all there was too it, it might be tolerable, if somewhat creepy. What happens though is that our immune system, ever on the watch for foreign bodies in our bodily tissues, reacts to the presence of the mites, the eggs, and the fecal droppings of the mites. The main symptom that is felt is one of intense itching, but there are often physical signs as well, including areas of inflammation, lesions, and the aforementioned nodules.
When one has a case of nodular scabies, red nodules appear that can be up to 1/4 in diameter. Even after scabies mites have been done away with by medication, the immune system may continue to react for some time, causing these nodules to form. While the physical symptoms of nodular scabies can be present anywhere on the body, they are most typically located in the area of the genitals, as this is the area where, during sexual intercourse, this highly contagious disease is quite often transmitted.
Fortunately, scabies can usually be successfully treated, although treating extremely severe infestations can sometimes be difficult. Due to the highly contagious nature of the disease, those living with or in close proximity to an affected individual often require treatment as well, at least as a preventive measure, but also because when a person is infected, the symptoms do not appear right away, and sometime symptoms to not appear at all, but the infected person is still a carrier. A problem often encountered is when children are in a crowded school an infection can spread very rapidly, with many carriers not even showing evidence of an infestation.
Treatment - There are a number of cremes and lotions available to treat scabies, including nodular scabies. Gamma benzene hydrochloride (GHBC), often sold under the name of Lindane is a very effective topical creme that is usually applied on a one-time basis. Another cream, permethrin, is also applied only once, although a second application may be needed in a week's time.
Benzyle benzoate is an emulsion which is applied for 3 consecutive days, and Ivermectin, a powerful antibacterial and antiparasiticidal is often used for more severe cases. Sulfur ointment is also often very effective. Ivermectin is often used in the treatment or prevention of internal worms or other parasites in both humans and animals.
Avoidance and Cleanliness - The Best Prevention - As contagious as scabies is, it is preventable and the best method of prevention, aside from avoiding contact with those who have an infestation, is cleanliness. Scabies is far less prevalent in societies that maintain high standards of good health and hygiene, and is more of a problem in crowded areas where cleanliness and hygiene are substandard and the disease can rapidly be spread. If you should find yourself infected, or are in constant contact with someone who is, the quicker treatment is undertaken the better. If the condition can be nipped in the bud, crusting or nodular scabies may be avoided entirely. If the condition is allowed to worsen to the point itching becomes nearly intolerable, scratching may create lesions, opening the door to infection or other complications. Scabies in itself is rarely life threatening, but complications accompanying the disease can sometime create a serious problem.