Article by Diana Cohen
Living in a college dorm can certainly come with its fair share of risks, including rashes which spread like wild fire. Recently there has been an increase in bed bug infestations across the country, both in college dorms and residential areas. Bed bugs can cause rashes which present as clustered-together groups of raised bumps which appear to be red and irritated. It can become worse if the infestation is not dealt with in a timely manner. More and more college dorms are experiencing problems with bed bugs. While most people think that bed bug infestations are due to leaving food crumbs all over, that is not what attracts them.
Scabies is another kind of rash that college students can catch. This rash can be caught either through sexual or non-sexual contact with a person. It can be caught by holding hands for a prolonged period of time or sharing someone else’s clothes or bed. When living on-campus, it’s always a good idea to avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with another person’s skin. The mites burrow in the skin and lay eggs. They are invisible to the eye, but the allergic rash is what alerts most people. This is precisely how rashes spread in these types of environments.
It is important to know some of the different symptoms of scabies and how it presents, as there are many students and other people who are unaware. Each year there are around 300 million recorded cases of scabies, many of which are spread through college campuses in a matter of weeks. The very first symptom someone with scabies usually experiences is a rash which itches. Repeated scratching of the affected are can lead to infection, which can make the scabies much worse. Those who experience sudden uncontrollable itching are recommended to see a physician in order to get the prescription anti-parasitic cream with permethrin. The doctor will often also recommend an antihistamine for itching.
Itching it usually the first symptom experienced by those who develop scabies, and those who experience it should be aware that it could be something worse than a regular itch. Using a mattress cover can also be helpful as a means to prevent reinfestation. Other rashes that can be caught on college campuses include those due to the herpes virus, fungal rashes such as athlete’s foot, impetigo and molluscum contagiosum. The college infirmary on campus is a useful resource to use for any health concerns.
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