Scabies is a severe itchy and contagious skin disease. Both males and females are equally affected. Its predominant feature is severe and continuous itching. It is a parasitic infestation of the skin, caused by female itch mite – Sarcoptes scabiei, variety hominis.
It is caused by skin contact for a longer period of time(more than a few seconds). Mere handshake may not spread this disease. Sexual contacts, hugging for a few moments etc can spread the disease from a patient to other.
The long contact causes the spread of 10 – 15 mites, which make a burrow in the patient’s skin to lay eggs. The eggs hatch within 3 – 10 days.
Symptoms start to appear after 2- 6 weeks of infection.
Scabies commonly affects:
Axillary area and
It is specially located in Inter digital clefts of the hands, wrists, elbows, thigh, ankles, axillary area, shaft of the penis and scrotum in males and breast in females.
Scabies symptoms and characteristic features:
Vesicular or pustular eruptions, with small red bumps and blisters
Itching during night (nocturnal itching).
Continuous scratching of itchy areas leads to worsening of skin patches. This further exposes the skin to other infections and diseases (called secondary infections).
It spreads by body contact.
Polluted and contaminated environment worsen this condition.
Usually the lesions begin with serous blisters.
Gradually spreading kind of multiple blisters (papules) are converted into pus filled blisters (pustules) in a time period of 10-12 days.
Predominant character is itching and is worsened by self-itching.
Itching worsens at night.
Scabies in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, scabies is called Pama.
Pama is caused due to aggravation of Kapha in association with indigestion and Pitta.
Depending upon the features, it is classified into dry scabies and pustular scabies.
Dry scabies – It is commonly found in the anal orifice, over the scrotal skin and over the nipples.
Pustular scabies – Starts in the finger webs and later spreads to other skin folds. Pus is also filled in the blisters, gradually.
Ayurvedic treatment for scabies:
Be away from the contracted person.
Wash the clothes separately and dry properly in sunshine.
Avoid itching to prevent worsening of the condition and to prevent super infections.
Ayurvedic Oils and creams for scabies:
Application of Mahamaricha taila is effective in dry scabies.
Dusting of Tankana bhasma powder shows significant result in pustular scabies.
Sindooradya malahara, Gandhakadya malahara and Jasadamruta malahara are effective against both the varieties of scabies.
In its severity, Rasottamadi lepa is beneficial. But it should be avoided in the patients who have bleeding lesions nearer to scabies marks.
Ayurvedic medicines for scabies:
Gandhaka rasayana – It is used in the treatment of skin diseases, itching, chronic fever, urinary tract disorders etc.
Arogyavardhini vati – It is used in the treatment of liver diseases, fever, skin diseases, etc.
Mahamanjishtadi kashaya – used in the treatment of skin diseases, gout, syphilis, non healing wounds.
Khadirarishta – used for treating wide range of skin disorders
Mahatiktaka kashaya – used for treating infectious skin diseases, abscess, non healing wounds and sinuses.
Rasamanikya – used for treating fever, bronchitis, Asthma and skin diseases
Aragwadhadi kashaya etc
Article by Prof. MS Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar