Scratches and Rashes and Itches, Oh, My! Everything You Need to Know About Skin Mites in Children

While it is one of the most common problems in children’s health, rashes, skin mites and other skin problems can send parents into a tizzy. It can be very frightening when your child breaks out in a rash especially if your child isn’t prone to them. At first glance identifying rashes can seem tricky but most rashes have very distinctive telltale markings that allow parents to rest easy and have a good idea of the diagnosis before they make an appointment with their doctor. This is especially true when it comes to skin mites in children.

What do skin mites in children look like?

A skin mite rash has a very distinctive look. You may notice that your child has small red bumps and blisters that may or may not crust. While skin mites can burrow under any part of the skin they are often found in moist dark areas such beneath the arms, diaper area and behind the knees. You may also notice markings called burrows that appear as very small and faint grey lines. Do not mistake scratches for burrows. Skin mites cause extreme itching. If your child has been scratching the rash then it is possible that the lines you see are from overzealous scratch marks.

Skin Mites

Picture of Skin Mites or Scabies in Children

Skin mites are extremely contagious, however, catching them requires close contact such as hugs, hang holding or sharing a sleeping quarters. If you believe your child has skin mites you should keep him or her home from school until your doctor gives the ok for them to return. Not only does this protect other children it also protects your child from returning to school to another skin mites outbreak!

If skin mites are contagious, who is at the most risk?

While school is a no-no for kids with skin mites, those at the most risk for catching them are parents and siblings. Let’s face it. When our children are sick we want to nurture them, hug them and tuck them in extra tight at bedtime. Remember to wash up often and don’t be afraid to find creative ways to show love and affection. Provide your child with a decorated shoe box filled with crafts, markers and crayons. Make their favorite meal. Give coupons for special time together once they are feeling tip top.

Are there treatments for skin mites?

Yes. There are many different treatments for skin mites; however, only one is safe and FDA approved for children. A mite killing cream that contains the product Permethrin is safe to use in children over the age of two months old. This product is left on for 24 hours and then washed away. Antihistamines can also be productive in helping your child heal. It is especially helpful to ease itching and swelling.

How do I keep myself, spouse and other children from being infected by skin mites?

Because skin mites in children are so contagious it is recommended by physicians that the entire family be treated for skin mites at the time of the child’s outbreak regardless of if they are showing any symptoms. This not only stops skin mites in their tracks, it also keeps them from being an ongoing problem as skin mites can begin months before they ever produce any symptoms or telltale signs.

Although skin mites in children can be difficult on both child and parent, it is comforting to know that they are not life threatening nor will they leave long lasting effects on your child’s health and well being. Skin mites usually live only 24-36 hours and while there may be many bumps there are usually only 10 to 15 skin mites present in an outbreak. As you help your child heal, remember this too shall pass and will soon be an (itchy) memory.

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