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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
KOVACS, Fabiana Thais and BRITO, Maria de Fátima de Medeiros. Disease perception and self medication in patients with scabies. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2006, vol.81, n.4, pp. 335-340. ISSN 1806-4841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962006000400005.
BACKGROUND: The high prevalence of scabies associated with low rate of self-diagnosis and stigmatization of infested people contribute to self medication. OBJECTIVES: To ascertain perception of patients with scabies, regarding the condition, diagnostic possibilities considered, practice of self medication and their feelings when diagnosis is made. METHODS: In a prospective study of cases, 65 patients seen at the Dermatology Outpatients Clinic of the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, in Recife, Brazil, with clinical diagnosis of scabies were interviewed. RESULTS: Only 47.7% believed that their symptoms were due to scabies, and 86% thought that they could be related to other diseases, such as infections, insect bites and allergy to contactants. Self medication was observed in 55.4% of patients, and the products mostly used were soaps and herbs. The diagnosis of scabies led to negative feelings in 56.7% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a low degree of suspicion of scabies among the people infested. Self medication was used in over half the cases, usually with improper products to treat the parasitosis. The diagnosis of scabies often leads to negative feelings, indicating the need of integral care of patients.
Keywords : Emotions; Scabies; Self medication.