Itchy skin disease: scabies spreads - what offers protection?

Infectious skin disease: scabies spreads in Germany

For a long time there have been more and more scabies cases in Germany. The infectious skin disease is currently spreading mainly in the north of the country. Experts explain how the disease manifests itself and how you can protect yourself from infection.

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 recently, 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.

More and more scabies cases in northern Germany

The health department of the district of Stormarn (Schleswig-Holstein) reports that outbreaks of scabies have been occurring frequently in the district for several months.

"Facilities in which a large number of people reside, such as kindergartens, schools and nursing homes, are particularly affected," says a statement.

"The investigations by the local health department have shown that the spread of scabies cannot generally be attributed to a lack of hygiene," the experts write.

If you suspect the contagious skin disease, you should go to the doctor immediately.

Extremely uncomfortable for infected people

As the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains on its portal "", 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 fingers and toes are mainly affected,
Wrists, ankles, armpits, elbows, nipples and genitals.

Especially in babies and toddlers, the hairy head, face, palms and feet can also be affected.

In addition, injured skin can purulently ignite due to 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.

If skin disease is suspected, see a doctor

The symptoms only appear after two to five weeks after the first infection. There is a risk of infection as long as there are itch mites on the skin. If left untreated, the skin disease is often chronic, but can also heal spontaneously after some time.

"If the above-mentioned signs of illness occur or if you suspect scabies, you should immediately consult your doctor," it says on "".

Scabies are treated with so-called scabicides. These drugs are usually applied to the skin as creams, sprays or ointments, or administered orally.

Protection against infections

Important to know: There is a risk of infection until the end of the treatment. Indirect transmission is possible because the mites can survive outside the organism.

Therefore, clothes, bed linen, towels and other objects with longer physical contact should be washed at least 50 degrees for at least ten minutes, writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

Upholstered furniture, sofa cushions or textile floor coverings can be vacuumed with a strong vacuum cleaner (dispose of the filter and bag afterwards) or not used for at least 48 hours.

"Since transmission of scabies mites requires close, extensive and longer skin contact (longer than 5 - 10 minutes), shaking hands, greeting kisses and hugs are usually without risk of transmission," said the RKI. (ad)

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