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  1. #1

    Default Possible Scabies?? Please help!

    Hello all,
    I am currently studying in Germany. About a month ago I noticed these strange pimple-like bumps on me that appeared in places pimples don't usually appear for me, including my hands, shins, and upper arms. They are slightly itchy, but only slightly. I was afraid they were bed bug bites because I found a bed bug in a hostel I stayed in. However, I killed it and didn't see any more signs of bed bugs (I am very educated on the whole bed bugs issue now) and have subsequently searched my dorm multiple times and even installed a passive monitor that should show signs of them if they exist. I have seen no signs of the bugs.

    However, I know these bumps are SOMETHING, so I went to a dermatologist last week. He said the bites are absolutely not typical of bed bug bites, and he believes I have scabies. He gave me the permethrin cream but I have recently noticed a couple new bumps since I started the treatment. Now I'm afraid I don't actually have scabies. Besides, when I googled Scabies, I found pictures of severe rashes and heard stories of severe itching...and I have neither. Just these stupid sliiightly itchy pimple-like bites.

    How can I tell if they are scabies? Is it possible to have scabies that don't itch severely? Am I just being paranoid? Any perspective would be great!

  2. #2
    pepsimax's Avatar
    **Nikki** Female

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    Hello Christina and welcome I'm just sorry you didn't find us for a nicer reason. We have some experienced doctors here who could offer you some advice but they would need to see a picture. The closer and more detailed the better. They could then suggest possible lines you could follow.
    Also you say they are slightly itchy. Does anything, like heat, showers, tight clothes, nighttime, etc, make the itching worse? Just another question which may help others better advise you.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepsimax View Post
    Hello Christina and welcome I'm just sorry you didn't find us for a nicer reason. We have some experienced doctors here who could offer you some advice but they would need to see a picture. The closer and more detailed the better. They could then suggest possible lines you could follow.
    Also you say they are slightly itchy. Does anything, like heat, showers, tight clothes, nighttime, etc, make the itching worse? Just another question which may help others better advise you.
    Thanks for the welcome and the quick response.
    About the bumps, yes, they're slightly itchy and things like running and showers do make it a little worse. I have put some pictures up on my Flickr. These are the "bites" on my shin, thigh, and back respectively. I don't know if they are detailed enough but they're all I've got by now. The dermatologist looked at them with a magnifier before suggesting it was scabies.


    .


    .

    . b

  4. #4
    Dr.Deepak's Avatar
    **Deepak Ghimire** Male

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    Hello christina, welcome to dermatalk skin care forum. Although it doesn't look like a typical scabies, your doctor may still be correct as scabies can be confused with many skin condition, direct close exam is a must. As he/she has confirmed after close examination with magnifying glass ( usually scabies borrow can be seen). You may also notice a tunnel or thread like elevated structure in the skin which is created by moving scabies mite. Few questions:
    Do any people in close contact has it?
    Does the itch increase during night?
    Can you see any thread like elevated structures?
    Do you have such lesions on finger webbed space, under-arms,wrists, breasts and areolae, genital or any other parts ( scabies mite tends to dig the area where the skin is thin and soft....)
    Do you have such rash on face? (It is rarely seen on facial areas in adults)
    Did you apply permethrin as directed by ur dermatologist ( apply on full body below neck and leave it for at-least 12 hrs then rinse.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deepak View Post
    Hello christina, welcome to dermatalk skin care forum. Although it doesn't look like a typical scabies, your doctor may still be correct as scabies can be confused with many skin condition, direct close exam is a must. As he/she has confirmed after close examination with magnifying glass ( usually scabies borrow can be seen). You may also notice a tunnel or thread like elevated structure in the skin which is created by moving scabies mite. Few questions:
    Do any people in close contact has it?
    Does the itch increase during night?
    Can you see any thread like elevated structures?
    Do you have such lesions on finger webbed space, under-arms,wrists, breasts and areolae, genital or any other parts ( scabies mite tends to dig the area where the skin is thin and soft....)
    Do you have such rash on face? (It is rarely seen on facial areas in adults)
    Did you apply permethrin as directed by ur dermatologist ( apply on full body below neck and leave it for at-least 12 hrs then rinse.
    Thanks for your reply. The thing is, he did not mention any scabies burrow, and I tried the "ink test" myself and didn't see the burrows either. Then again, it might have been lost in translation because I am in Germany and we were speaking in English, but he only told me it looked like scabies to him. He then pulled out a book and showed me what typical bed bug bites look like and said mine do not look like that. I am only skeptical because I've read everyone has different reactions to bed bugs, and so you can't tell from bites. So, I am still paranoid I have them, even though the amount of bumps I find are not growing at an exponential rate. I maybe find one or two more each week since this started 5 weeks ago.

    Anyway, back to the scabies possibility. The doctor said I must have gotten them from a hostel or something because I have been traveling a lot, and mites can live on sheets. The only thing about the bumps is that some of them were surrounded by a raised reddish circle, but that circle has since disappeared, so I don't know if it's important. The itch is more noticeable at night, I think, but that might just be from my anxiety. I do have the lesions on my fingers and wrist, but also a couple on my lower back and upper arm (bicep area). I don't have anything on my face. And yes I have been using the cream, but he suggests that I do three treatments of it and I have one more left. Essentially I know I have to just wait and see if I get any more bumps after the final treatment to know for sure, but this issue has been seriously plaguing me, so any advice would be great.

  6. #6
    pepsimax's Avatar
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    I can't help with you issue as I am not experienced, but as I replied first I want to reply again. I totally understand how stressful this must be for you and if I were you I would be doing the exact same. One thing I do know though, and this is little comfort. Worrying can enhance symptoms. Sometimes with skin conditions they get worse before they get better. Deepak is very experienced and although he can offer you good advice, its not the same as a doctor seeing it up close. Keep in touch here as we will offer you all the help we can but try and relax before going to bed so at least you can get a good nights sleep and your body is strong enough to fight off infections. Easier said than done I know.

  7. #7
    Dr.Deepak's Avatar
    **Deepak Ghimire** Male

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    Usually scabies is associated with intense itching but as ur dermatologist confirmed, it could just be atypical scabies. So scraping the lesion for microscopic identification of mites and eggs is important. Other possibilities could be bed bugs. They are very hard to find sometimes as they feed on you during night and hide during day. Check if you have any black, brown dots on your bed-sheets blankets etc...
    Do any people in close contact has it?
    where exactly u have it on fingers...?
    Do you have it on genital or any other parts?
    If you have other better picture with more lesion (severe areas than you are posting)

  8. #8

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    thank you for the comforting words, Pepsimax. I know it sounds silly but I'd rather have scabies than bed bugs, because scabies are much easier to treat. I am extremely afraid of bringing a bed bug infestation home to the US. The only thing is that I simply cannot find any signs of BBs. It's entirely possible that I'm just missing the signs, but to answer your question Deepak, I have not found dots like that on my bed. Online bed bug experts tell me that since I haven't seen any signs it's unlikely that I have bed bugs, but I am a paranoid and anxious person so I still don't feel totally reassured.

    I figure there must be a reason the doctor thought it was scabies and not anything else, though. However I do not have it on my genitals or anywhere else besides where I mentioned, really.

    Here is a picture of the lesions on my hand. This is from about two weeks ago, and my camera isn't working right at the moment so I can't give a more recent update. I have circled the areas where the lesions are because a good amount of them are hard to see. At the moment most of them look like the main one that is on the lower part of my hand. However they do not have such big reddish circles around them, they look like pimples but I know they're not pimples. Anyway if you click on the image you should be led to my Flickr page where you can zoom in.


    . by sugarlumps, on Flickr

    Thank you so much for your help! And no, I do not know if anyone else has this problem, but I haven't exactly been asking around either.

  9. #9
    Dr.Deepak's Avatar
    **Deepak Ghimire** Male

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    Well thanks for your update on your picture. This doesn't look like a bed bug bite...so lets exclude it. It rather looks like a scabies infestation now ( the recent pics and other symptoms that your are experiencing).
    Anyway, lets try with your third treatment and see if that works..if not, you may also take oral Ivermectin... And remember, apply on the whole area below neck, not just the lesion.. Make sure to wash all your linens and other clothes in hot water...you may have slight itching even after few days of treatment but that's normal..

    Please do update on your condition, how it goes... feel free to ask anything in your mind.. we'll try to help you as much as we can..

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi Deepak, thanks for your feedback. I'm glad you said it doesn't look like a bed bug bite...I don't know why I'm still so paranoid of having them even though I can't find signs of them. I did my third treatment with the Permethrin and then went away for the weekend with all newly washed clothes so I'm crossing my fingers that the scabies mites in my room died when I returned approximately 66 hours later, because I heard they can only live off the body for around 48 hours. The thing is that with the Permethrin I know I will still experience itching, so I can't really tell if it worked or not.

    I do have a couple of questions. Is it possible to find new bumps right after treatment? Perhaps the skin is having a slow reaction to the scabies? I know it takes a few weeks for the skin to react initially. I have found a couple of red bumps on my stomach just now, and they do not itch so I will wait and see if they turn out to be something else or what, but either way I'm concerned once again. Because of my "it's bed bugs!" paranoia, I have no way of knowing if new bites are from scabies or from BBs. I wish this nightmare would end!


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