Scabies Infection

What is scabies?

Scabies is a parasitic infestation in which Sarcoptes scabei mites burrow under the skin and cause intense itching.

What are the symptoms of scabies?

Aside from intense itching, which usually is worse at night, symptoms may include hive-like bumps on the skin. These lesions tend to first appear between the fingers or on the elbows, wrists, buttocks, or waist. The mites can also burrow under fingernails or around the skin near watch-bands or rings. The itching of scabies results primarily from the body’s allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs and their waste.

Vigorous scratching can break the skin and allow a secondary bacterial infection to occur. Superficial infections of the skin, known as impetigo, are caused most often by staph (staphylococcal) and occasionally strep (streptococcal) bacteria. These bacterial infections can cause localised inflammation marked by redness, swelling, heat and pain as well as a honey-coloured exuded fluid.

Scabies can become a serious problem in those with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV or cancer. Scabies can also be an issue for those with chronic illnesses or living in institutionalised settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, childcare facilities and nursing homes. If the condition becomes chronic, a more severe and very contagious form of scabies may develop called crusted scabies, which causes a hard, scaly rash that covers large areas of the body and can be difficult to treat.

What are the causes?

Sarcoptes scabei is a microscopic eight-legged mite. Females burrow just beneath the skin, creating a tunnel in which they deposit their eggs. The eggs mature in about three weeks, after which the new mites hatch and burrow to the skin’s surface, from which they can spread to other areas of the skin or to other people. Close physical contact and, less often, sharing clothing or bedding with an infected person can spread the mites. The mites can live for up to a month on the human body, but can’t survive for more than 48-72 hours elsewhere, and laundering eliminates them. Despite urban legends, humans cannot get scabies from pets. Animals attract types of mites that don’t survive on the human body.

Treatment

Salt Water Bathing

Common table salt in a warm bath cured my Scabies. After soaking for 15 minutes, get out of the bath and drip dry. Do not use a towel, but if you must, just pat dry with kitchen towels as they are more hygenic. If needed, repeat after 4 days.

The salt will get into the mite holes to kill the eggs, and also kill the mites on the surface almost instantly.

Herbal Skin Treatment

Make up a mixture of:

  • Oil of cloves – kills the mites and reduces the pain – 50 parts
  • Tea Tree oil – kills the mites and any bacterial infections – 10 parts
  • Rosemary oil – kills the mites, reduces itching and inflammation – 5 parts
  • Lavender oil (optional) – kills the mites, reduces the inflammation and itching – 5 parts

and apply to the skin of whole body especially where itching and inflammation.

Precautions to Take When You Have Scabies

  • Treat All Family Members and Close Contacts

    Most scabies recurrences are because of reinfection from untreated contacts. It’s so important that your loved ones receive scabies treatment too, and don’t forget about your pets! Although cats and dogs are affected by their own distinct species of mites, they can still contract human scabies, which causes a temporary skin reaction and keeps the mites in your home. Contact your veterinarian about pet treatments for scabies.

  • Wash Bedding and Clothing

    Immediately wash the bedding and clothes that you used or wore since the time of contracting scabies. If you aren’t sure of the exact time, then be safe and wash all of your worn clothes and bedsheets. The laundry cycle alone may not kill the mites, so make sure your drier is on the hottest setting possible, even better yet, dry on outside clothes line in full sun.

  • Vacuum Furniture and Carpet

    After vacuuming the furniture and carpet at home, make sure to throw away the vacuum bag because it may contain mites. Using a steam cleaner with borax powder can be even more effective.

  • Stay in One Small Room or Area

    The less you touch, the less you have to disinfect after the scabies has been treated. Do your best to keep your home and environment scabies-free by limiting your exposure to furniture, materials and people. If you can’t wash your clothing or towels right away, put them in a tied plastic bag; scabies mites cannot survive off of the body for longer than three days.

  • Avoid Scratching Itchy Skin

    Scratching your itchy skin does not actually provide relief because the problem is still there. In fact, scratching the infested area only makes matters worse because it can spread the mites across your body and increase your risk of a secondary skin infection.

  • Try to Minimize Stress

    Stress can increase the severity of itchiness, which will lead to scratching and the possibility of skin infections. For this reason, it is important to minimize stress. Try stress relievers, such as relaxing exercises like yoga or taking a long walk. Read a chapter or passage from your favorite book, or practice meditation. Dealing with a scabies infestation can be difficult to handle emotionally and mentally, but try your best to stay positive — there are cures, but it takes some time.

  • Eat a Healthy Diet

    When dealing with scabies, it’s important that your body’s immune system is ready to work hard. Sticking to detoxifying and anti-inflammatory foods is beneficial as you rid the body of these harmful mites and deal with the side effects of medications. Anti-inflammatory foods also help to relieve swelling, itching and discomfort. Some of the best foods to add into your diet include leafy greens, beets, walnuts, blueberries, salmon, coconut oil and bone broth.

  • Hand Stitching Versus Machine Stitching

    What is the difference between machine sewing and manual hand stitching (Saddle Stitching)?

    One thread vs. two threads

    When you use a machine, that sewing line uses two separate threads that lock around each other in what is known as a “Machine Lock Stitch”.

    A hand-stitched line uses a single thread with needles on both ends. The thread runs back and forth on either side of the leather in what is called a “Saddle Stitch”

    Difference in Construction

    Technically speaking, the hand-stitched piece that uses the “saddle stitch” provides a stronger and more durable construction than the machine sewn piece that uses the “locking stitch”.

    A locking stitch by a sewing machine has two threads running the length of the material on opposite sides, if one thread were to snap at a single point, the entire thread could unravel along that side of the material thereby allowing the material to separate.

    However in a hand-stitched piece, should the thread snap at a single point, it could not easily unravel the length of the item since it’s passing on both sides of the leather. More importantly, it’s easier to repair the line of stitching.

    Difference in Aesthetics

    Saddle stitch results in an elegant line of slightly angled stitches when used with a particular set of tools. Decisions like stitches per inch, size and type of thread, and how we set the holes (e.g. pricking iron, diamond chisel) all play a role in the design of a piece.

    Machine lock stitches usually look pretty straight on the top and the bottom side would be a usually visibly thinner thread to complete the lock stitch.

    Leathercraft Workshop

    My new setup is now operational and starting to churn out products for locals and tourists alike. New stamps and leather recently arrived so the range of images on products greatly increased. A new supplier of kangaroo leather has been found, so now many new products in the pipeline.

    To see what is now available, visit shop from the menu.

    Come back and visit often as product line grows and changes all the time.

    Tumeric: How To Use For Better Health

    Flickr - Turmeric - anuandrajAnna Hunt, Staff Writer
    Waking Times

    Delicious raw in smoothies or salad dressings, or as the savory orange spice behind the splendor of curry dishes, Turmeric is proving again and again to be one of the most beneficial and versatile natural health supplements one can take, and, it is surprisingly easily to grow. Turmeric, also known as Curcurma Longa, is related to the well-known ginger plant and also produces a rhizome that grows just beneath the ground. It’s tall and brightly colored tropical green leaves are beautiful in the garden and commonly used in landscaping, but the rhizomes are harvested as food and medicine, or re-planted seasonally.

    To grow this beneficial plant this, one only needs a few rhizomes, a pot and a sunny place. Just place a small section of the rhizome an inch or two under the soil and water regularly. They prefer tropical climates and plenty of rain, but are known to grow exponentially in a single season of 4-6 months with lots of water and sun. This is a remarkably easy to grow herb for everyday consumption and for preparedness gardens.

    Turmeric is delicious in many recipes, and ideas for using it in the kitchen are easy to find. In addition to eating it in it’s raw form, it’s commonly dried and ground into a powder or used in many delicious variations of curry spices. High quality organic turmeric powder is available for cooking and crafting medicines, and turmeric supplements in the form of capsules can also readily be found. Additionally, there are also many forms of tinctures, and extracts, that can be used to various beneficial ends. Bio-dynamic, organic Turmeric is also used in the production of high quality multi-vitamins.

    In recent years there has been a growing body of scientific evidence indicating that Turmeric has incredible medicinal value, and here are 10 amazing health benefits of turmeric

    1. Turmeric can help to prevent and heal some forms of cancer.
    2. Turmeric can be of significant benefit in the treatment and prevention of Diabetes.
    3. Turmeric is a detoxifying food and can help the body remove from poisons, heavy metals and illness.
    4. Turmeric extract is an effective alternative to some anti-depressants.
    5. Turmeric can protect and regenerate the liver.
    6. Turmeric can relieve arthritis pain, and stop inflammation.
    7. Turmeric supports a healthy brain and heart.
    8. Turmeric boosts the immune system and can replace certain vaccines.
    9. Turmeric can help in weight loss.
    10. Turmeric can elevate the spirit.

    As Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be food.” This is indeed true and Turmeric is one of the most potent, effective, and easy to incorporate foods to your diet. Grab some rhizomes try it out in your next smoothie or dish, and be sure to save a few to plant some in the garden. Learn more about this healing plant and take the time to learn how to prepare it for various things, like the following video which demonstrates how to make the Ayurvedic recipe, Golden Milk, which is very effective in treating chronic pain and inflammation:

    Supa Natural Pain Relief Balm

    Ingredients:

    • 5-10ml Arnica – bruises, rheumatic muscle relief, joint swelling
    • 10 drops Clove – analgesic which reduces pain perception
    • 15 drops Rosemary
    • 10 drops Basil
    • 12 drops Eucalyptus, blue gum
    • 12 drops Peppermint
    • Mix in 100g bees wax with some olive oil

    This may be effective for arthritis, sore muscles, muscle cramps, joint pain. It may also be used as pre-sport warm up rub, as well as chest rub or inhalation with hot water during cold and flu infections

    Aquaponic System Maintenance

    Our system has been running for a few months now, and I thought I’d share my maintenance schedule.

    Daily

    • Feeding – feed fish morning and night. Feed yabbies every second day after removing any uneaten food pieces.
    • Check water temperature.
    • Check pumps and plumbing. To conserve power, I use a timer on the pump to operate it during daylight, and a timer on the aerators during the night. Check them.
    • Check that all siphons are operating correctly.
    • Pick vegetables as needed, while checking for bugs and disease.

    Weekly

    • Test water for pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and dissolved oxygen.
    • Check water level in sump tank and top up as required.
    • Plant out new plants after removing spent plants. Plant need seeds as required for planting out in 2-3 weeks time.
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    Testing Water in Aquaponics

    It is important to monitor ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temperature and the pH level of the water, to ensure that they are in ‘range’. If not, you need to take corrective action otherwise fish and plants may die or succumb to disease.

    Equipment

    1. Test kit. Most aquaponic gardeners use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. API Freshwater Master Test Kit. This kit is inexpensive (about $AU47.00 at writing time) and is easy to use.
    2. Thermometer. Get a submersible one. Water temperature is important as it affects fish health and plant growth.
    3. Dissolved oxygen measurement. This can be done with a kit or a meter, and gives an indication of the aerobic activity in the system, which is important to the bacteria, the plants and the fish. The most accurate measure is obtained by using an electronic one, but remember that you get what you pay for.
    4. pH meter. Nice to have, as it speeds up the measurement of pH, which is very important.
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    Musings from a wandering sage

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