Scabies can be a very difficult condition to treat. Aside from the many occurrences of misdiagnosis that have delayed treatment for many victims, the mites themselves can be pretty difficult to get rid of. Below we will discuss a few possible reasons why many people struggle to overcome a scabies infestation.
1. Reinfestation: Becoming reinfested with scabies is not difficult and this a key reason why a lot of people can’t seem to shake the mites. There are a few possible ways one could be come reinfested with scabies:
- A household member/romantic partner could have scabies and not even know it. The symptoms of scabies can take up to 6 weeks to appear, meaning even if you are the only one in the house with active symptoms, others could be infested as well. That is why as soon as one household member is diagnosed with scabies, ALL household members should undergo treatment as well. This prevents the chances of anyone unknowingly reinfesting one another.
- Another source of reinfestation is your environment. This includes your bed, your bedding, clothing, couches, towels, car seats, etc. Scabies mites can survive outside of the human body for up to 3 days in some cases, which means even if you were successful in killing every mite on your body, those surviving mites left around in your environment have an opportunity to crawl back onto your skin. That is why it treating your environment is a step you cannot neglect when trying to over come a scabies infestation.
- Your pets can also cause reinfestation. Your dogs and cats can carry the human form of scabies long enough to pose a threat to you. If you have scabies, it is best that you have minimal contact with your pets until treated. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to treat your pets with a specialized treatment designed specifically for animals as well.
2. Resistance: There is a strong possibly that scabies mites have become increasingly resistant to the commonly prescribed treatment ointments, evidenced by the numerous reports of repeated treatment failure. According to an article published by medscape.com, in 1994 before widespread use of permethrin treatment was introduced, all mites were killed within 30 minutes of in vitro exposure to permethrin. By the year 2000, 35% of the mites were still alive after 3 hours of exposure and a substantial portion remained alive overnight. Does this mean treatments such as permethrin don’t work? Absolutely not. But the possibility of resistance is real and if you are struggling to get rid of scabies with traditional medications, you may want to explore other options.