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Scabies Treatments


It is essential to remove scabies from the living environment to avoid re-infestation after treatment. All bedding and clothing must be thoroughly laundered. Other members of the household or institution ought to be treated.

Permethrin cream 5%

Scabies is usually treated by applying permethrin cream 5%. It is applied to the skin from the neck down. The cream is left on for 8-12 hours. Excessive use of this medication can be harmful. Carefully read and follow the directions. Do not repeat treatments unless told to do so by a doctor.

If new, itchy bumps continue to appear in the days following your treatment, be sure to alert your doctor.

Itch Relief

It may take several weeks for itching to disappear following successful treatment. Itching can be temporarily relieved with:

  • Antihistamine
  • Corticosteroid cream
  • Antihistamines and corticosteroids

Alternative Medications

Some severe cases may respond poorly to other treatments. In this case, an oral medication, called ivermectin , is sometimes prescribed. It is given as a single dose.

Alternative topical creams include crotamiton 10% and lindane 1%.

Lindane is a second line treatment. It should only be given to patients who are unable to take other medications or who have not responded to them. Lindane can be toxic. It should not be overused. Follow the directions as given.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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