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Dr Susanna Kent - Scabies, Warts, Sores - 3 Jul

Dr Susanna Kent - Scabies, Warts and School sores


Caused by the burrowing of a microscopic mite under the skin.  Sometimes called the "7 year itch" because it can mimic a number of other skin conditions.

Symptoms:  pimple like irritations, itching especially at night.  Often on the webs between the fingers or toes, the wrists, elbows, knees, breasts, penis and shoulder blades.

How is it spread?  Via close skin to skin contact.  Usually you cannot get it by shaking hands as it requires a bit more prolonged contact, either with other members of the household or sexual partners.  You can also get it off shared clothing, towels or bedding.

The mite only lives about 2 days when away from the body.

Pets:  Animals become infested with a different kind of scabies mite (mange)  You can be infected with these mites from animals but they only live for  a couple of days and do not need treatment.

Symptoms:  these can develop 4-6 weeks after becoming infected, or if you have had scabies before you can symptoms after a few days.

Diagnosis:  visual.  You can have a scabies scrape but this can easily miss an infection.

Various insecticide lotions from the pharmacy.  You will also need to wash all clothes and bedding and towels in hot water.   All close contacts should also be treated.

Itching may continue for another couple of weeks but you can use another lotion for this.  No new burrows or rashes should appear 2 days after treatment.

Pregnancy:  there is a lotion  (derbac) which can be used in pregnancy but it is better to be treated prior to pregnancy.



These are common and occur in about 50% of children at some time.
They are caused by a virus

1. Do nothing
If left alone the majority will actually go away at some stage

2. Duct tape
Apply duct tape for a week, take off, soak, file with emery board then reapply the duct tape.  This may take a couple of months but seems to be very effective.

3. Liquid nitrogen
This can be done at the doctor's surgery.  It freezes the warts.  It may leave a blister after a couple of days which can be painful.  Often the treatment needs repeating in 2 weeks.

4. Salicylic acid
Wart paint contains salicylic acid which is painted on.

5. Zinc tablets. 
For multiple warts, giving children zinc tablets over a few months can help get rid of them.



Also called impetigo. Caused by bacterial infection.  Often around mouth, start with red spots then get crusty and sometimes blister.  Early on you can use an antibacterial ointment but if there are multiple lesions you may need to take an antibiotic.  Contagious by direct contact with the lesions.