Psychosomatic Causes of Scabies, Opinions and Recommendations of Psychologists

Scabies is a skin disease caused by the activity of a subcutaneous mite, manifesting as itching and burning. Infection occurs through direct contact with an infected person or their personal belongings. However, the development of the disease is also influenced by the psychological resilience of the infected person. Let’s delve into the psychosomatic aspects of scabies.

Disease Classification

Classic scabies develops due to the activity of the subcutaneous parasite. However, susceptibility to infection depends on a person’s overall immunity. Those living in constant stress have lower immunity. This form of scabies requires both medical and psychological treatment.

Apart from classic scabies, there are atypical scabies, pseudoscabies, and other types. Let’s explore these classifications:

  1. Typical form. Visible activity of the mite: scabies tracks, itching, burning, rash.
  2. Form without scabies tracks. Caused by the activity of larvae parasitizing on the surface without penetrating deep into the skin. Papules are visible on the skin.
  3. Discrete form. No inflammation or itching, the mites do not reproduce. Isolated clusters of mites can be found.
  4. Nodular form. Red nodules that itch intensely are visible on the skin. Usually, this form develops with repeated infection and prolonged treatment.
  5. Norwegian form. Common in adults with concurrent diseases like HIV, cancer. Large mite tracks, papules, and crusts are visible. Significant inflammation and itching are observed.
  6. Grain form. Caused by a mite that parasitizes insects. Infection occurs through contact with straw, grain. The disease manifests as rashes on the face, hands, neck. After treatment, the rash doesn’t disappear immediately.
  7. Pseudoscabies. Infection from animals. No visible scabies tracks on the skin, but itching and inflammation are present. The disease resolves on its own as such mites cannot reproduce on human skin. This form of scabies is not transmitted from person to person.

Important! For an accurate diagnosis, it’s necessary to consult a dermatologist. They will examine the patient’s complaints, the nature of the rash, the presence of mites and their tracks. A comprehensive examination leads to an accurate diagnosis.

Symptoms of Scabies

Scabies can be divided into atypical and typical forms based on symptomatology.

Symptoms characteristic of the typical form:

  • Itching intensifying at night.
  • Microscopic red blisters at the site of mite entry.
  • Entrance and exit tracks of the mite located no more than 0.5-1 cm apart.
  • Tracks are located on areas with thin skin (inner thighs, abdomen, groin, elbow crease).
  • In infants, tracks are visible on the head and neck.
  • Itching can spread throughout the body (regardless of the mite’s entry and exit points).

Symptoms of the atypical form:

  • Mild itching or its absence.
  • Crusts on the skin.
  • No traces of mite entry.
  • Reddening and flaking of the skin.

Important! Do not scratch the rashes. Scratching can exacerbate the course of the disease and is dangerous for additional infection of the wounds.

Mechanism of Problem Development, and Can Stress Cause Itchy Skin

The integumentary system has the most nerve endings, so any emotional experience is primarily reflected in the skin. Remember how we blush or turn pale when nervous, or develop spots from anger.

Nervous breakdowns and sleep disturbances are the primary causes of psychosomatic scabies. Other contributing factors include:

  • Strong emotional shocks.
  • Psycho-emotional and physical exhaustion.
  • Disrupted work and rest schedules.
  • Chronic stress.
  • Nervous system pathologies.
  • Fears and phobias.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Shock.
  • Depression.

Those at risk include individuals with heightened emotionality and psychological instability. Women and children are particularly prone to scabies (due to unstable psyche, hormonal changes, increased emotionality). Also at risk are people unaccustomed to dealing with moral exhaustion.

Who is susceptible to nervous scabies:

  • Women during pregnancy.
  • Teenagers.
  • People with mental disorders.

Interesting! From a medical standpoint, scabies can develop due to thrombi and medication intake.

External and Internal Triggering Factors

Each person has their own psychological tolerance limit and stress response rate. Therefore, scabies can be a delayed reaction to seemingly past and resolved difficulties. Any life changes and shifts in thinking can be triggers. The reaction depends on psychological resilience: some may panic if they can’t find their favorite coffee, while others may stoically endure the death of a loved one.

External factors for scabies:

  • Changing residence or job.
  • Divorce and relationship discord.
  • Childbirth.
  • Death or illness of a loved one.
  • Conflicts in family, school, or workplace.
  • Financial difficulties.

Internal factors:

  • Increased anxiety.
  • Tendency to introspection.
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Unrealistic expectations.
  • Excessive self-criticism.

Signs of Nervous Scabies

If scabies arises solely from nerves, diagnosis will not reveal the presence or activity of the mite, nor will these traces be visible on the skin.

Symptoms of nervous scabies:

  • Hyperemia (redness caused by increased pressure in vessels in a specific area).
  • Spots.
  • Rashes and blisters resembling welts.
  • Decreased productivity.
  • Fatigue.
  • Swelling.
  • General malaise.
  • Fever.
  • Hyperthermia.
  • Increased excitement and tension.
  • Mood swings.

Nervous scabies often affects parts of the body like the head, legs, hands, face, and anus. If scabies is caused by mite infection, the first manifestations are rashes on the wrists and between fingers. If it’s solely due to nervous strain, the first symptom is itching.

Differentiating Nervous Itching from Other Skin Diseases

In cases of nervous itching, patients often exhibit depressed and hysterical states, appearing on edge or about to snap. If medical diagnostics do not reveal subcutaneous mites, nervous scabies is likely.

However, scabies symptoms resemble dozens of other skin diseases. To differentiate the diagnosis, a specialist’s consultation is necessary. It’s practically impossible to do this independently, as other diseases, like scabies, can also worsen after stress.

Important! Self-diagnosing and prescribing treatment is not advised. Incorrectly chosen medications can further weaken the immune system.

Why Nervous Scabies Occurs

Itchiness arises from immune system disruptions (weakened immunity leads to the body fighting against itself), often following emotional shocks, distress, or fatigue. Nervous scabies can affect anyone. Let’s delve deeper into theories from renowned psychosomatic experts.

Scabies According to Louise Hay

According to Louise Hay, scabies indicates your thinking is infected. You allow someone or something to irritate you, suppressing your personality. In psychosomatics, skin is the boundary between a person’s inner world and the external environment. Any skin outbreaks are attempts by your self to defend itself.

Scratching signifies an inner feeling of detachment from life. Itching represents dissatisfaction, remorse, a conflict between desires and character, and an urge to escape the current situation. According to Louise Hay, any skin issues indicate old emotional residues, anxiety, fear, and a sense of danger.

Healing affirmations:

  • “I am a living, loving, joyful expression of life. I belong to myself.”
  • “I am grateful for life’s generosity to me. I am blessed.”
  • “I am peaceful and calm where I am. I accept all the good in me, knowing all my needs and desires will be fulfilled.”
  • “I lovingly protect myself with thoughts of joy and peace. The past is forgiven and forgotten. Now I am free.”

Scabies According to V. Zhikarentsev

V. Zhikarentsev believes scabies indicates one’s thinking is infected. People allow others to get under their skin, crossing personal boundaries and infringing on freedom and personal interests. Itching suggests desires conflicting with reality, as well as dissatisfaction, guilt, and remorse. Any skin problems, according to the psychologist, indicate old inner dirt begging to surface.

Healing affirmations:

  • “I am a living, joyful, loving expression of life. I am whole.”
  • “I experience peace and tranquility where I am now. I accept my benefits, knowing all my needs and desires will be met.”
  • “I lovingly protect myself with thoughts full of joy and peace. The past is forgiven and forgotten. Now I am free.”

Scabies According to Liz Burbo

For Liz Burbo, skin reflects one’s self-relationship. Its condition mirrors thoughts about oneself and perceived value before society. Skin defects indicate self-shame, leading to hypersensitivity to external factors and suppressed desires. Infectious skin diseases provide an excuse to distance oneself from people.

According to Liz Burbo, scabies is caused by dependence on others’ opinions (fear of displeasing or offending someone), pettiness, and irritability. Any minor issue disturbs you, and you are highly susceptible to external influence. Itching suggests strong desires and prohibitions on their fulfillment. Additional causes of itching:

  • Feeling cornered.
  • Impatience and irritation.
  • Preoccupation with something.

To determine the psychosomatic cause of itching, pay attention to the body part affected. The location will indicate in which life area you can’t fulfill desires or feel cornered.

For healing, understand the significance of the desire. If it’s a fleeting whim, it may be worth abandoning. If it’s a lifelong desire, find the courage to overcome fears and move forward for its realization.

Treatment of Nervous Scabies

Consult a dermatologist and psychotherapist for diagnosis and treatment. Initial laboratory tests for mites (scraping, extraction, and examination of the mite) are followed by overall patient assessment. Based on diagnosis, dermatologists prescribe treatment and monitor the body’s response. If symptoms decrease, the diagnosis is confirmed, and treatment is supplemented with:

  • Antihistamines for itch relief.
  • Sedatives and tranquilizers for nervousness.
  • Antiparasitic agents (sprays, ointments) to eliminate mites.
  • Allergy medications for itching and inflammation.
  • Antibiotics if infection is present.

Prescription requires individualized consideration of disease progression and personal-psychological characteristics. Appropriately chosen medications quickly alleviate symptoms, while psychotherapy addresses psychological causes and predispositions.

Psychologically, psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioral therapy are effective. Therapy aims to stabilize the client’s nervous state, aiding in developing new stress-coping strategies. Treatment should be reinforced with diet, eating regimen stability, general hardening procedures, sports, and other means of strengthening immunity.

Important! Treatment is tailored individually. Full recovery typically takes about a month.

Prevention of Nervous Scabies

To avoid itching from nerves, utilize available remedies:

  • Herbal teas and plant-based pharmacy products (motherwort, valerian, mint, chamomile).
  • Baths with aromatic candles and herbal infusions.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • Daily sports activities (20–30 minutes a day).
  • Meditation and yoga.

It’s crucial to maintain work and rest schedules, get enough sleep (7–9 hours), and watch your diet. Avoid overexertion and hustle. Develop self-control and increase stress resistance.

Important! If signs of scabies or other psychosomatic problems appear, consult a psychologist immediately. Without treatment and psychocorrection, the condition will become chronic.

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