Scabies is a common skin condition caused by a tiny mite. Scabies is caused by a tiny mite that is invisible to the naked eye. It can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in children. In Africa, scabies is a major public health problem, especially in crowded living conditions. 

The symptoms of scabies include: 

  • Intense itching, especially at night 
  • Small, red bumps on the skin 
  • Burrows (tracks) on the skin 
  • Scabies rash can appear anywhere on the body, but it is most common in the folds of the skin, such as the armpits, groin, and waist. 
  • In children, scabies can also cause crusty sores on the scalp and face. 

If you think your child may have scabies, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The doctor will examine your child’s skin and may take a scraping of the skin to confirm the diagnosis. 

The treatment for scabies is a topical cream or lotion that kills the mites. The cream or lotion must be applied to all of the skin, from the neck down. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully, and to treat all members of the household at the same time. 

Scabies can be prevented by good hygiene practices. These include: 

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water 
  • Keeping your nails short 
  • Avoiding close contact with people who have scabies 
  • Treating scabies promptly if you do get it 

If you are concerned about scabies, talk to your doctor. They can help you diagnose and treat this condition so that your child can get the relief they need. 

Here are some additional tips for preventing scabies in African children: 

  • Keep your child’s fingernails clean and trimmed. 
  • Wash your child’s bedding and clothing in hot water and dry them on high heat. 
  • Vacuum your home regularly, paying attention to carpets, furniture, and bedding. 
  • Avoid overcrowding
  • Avoid sharing personal items like clothes, towels, and bathing sponge.
  • They might also be spread from pets e.g Dogs, so close contact should be avoided.
  • If your child attends daycare or school, talk to the staff about their scabies prevention policies. 

By following these tips, you can help protect your child from scabies. 

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© 2023 The Pediatric Center Children Hospital

2a Sulaimon Abdullahi Street, Agungi, Lekki, Lagos

Road 2, House 20, Greenland Estate, Olokonla, Ajah-Sangotedo, Lagos


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