Scabies - Effective Treatments

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What kinds of treatments have been effective for your scabies?

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What are treatment options and home remedies for a scabies infestation?

Curing scabies is rather easy with the administration of prescription scabicide drugs. There are no approved over-the-counter preparations that have been proved to be effective in eliminating scabies. The following steps should be included in the treatment of scabies:

  1. Apply a mite-killer like permethrin (Elimite). These creams are applied from the neck down, left on overnight, then washed off. This application is usually repeated in seven days. Permethrin is approved for use in people 2 months of age and older.
  2. An alternative treatment is 1 ounce of a 1% lotion or 30 grams of cream of lindane, applied from the neck down and washed off after approximately eight hours. Since lindane can cause seizures when it is absorbed through the skin, it should not be used if skin is significantly irritated or wet, such as with extensive skin disease, rash, or after a bath. As an additional precaution, lindane should not be used in pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, people with skin sores at the site of the application, children younger than 2 years of age, or people who weigh less than 110 pounds. Lindane is not a first-line treatment and is only recommended if patients cannot tolerate other therapies or if other therapies have not been effective.
  3. Ivermectin, an oral medication, is an antiparasitic medication that has also been shown to be an effective scabicide, although it is not FDA-approved for this use. The CDC recommends taking this drug at a dosage of 200 micrograms per kilogram body weight as a single dose, followed by a repeat dose two weeks later. Although taking a drug by mouth is more convenient than application of the cream, ivermectin has a greater risk of toxic side effects than permethrin and has not been shown to be superior to permethrin in eradicating scabies. It is typically used only when topical medications have failed or when the patient cannot tolerate them.
  4. Crotamiton lotion 10% and cream 10% (Eurax, Crotan) is another drug that has been approved for the treatment of scabies in adults, but it is not approved for use in children. However, treatment failures have been documented with the use of crotamiton.
  5. Sulfur in petrolatum applied as a cream or ointment is one of the earliest known treatments for scabies. It has not been approved by the FDA for this use, and sulfur should only be used when permethrin, lindane, or ivermectin cannot be tolerated. However, sulfur is safe for use in pregnant women and infants.
  6. Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can be useful in helping provide relief from itching. Sometimes, a short course of topical or oral steroids is prescribed to help control the itching.
  7. Wash linens and bedclothes in hot water. Because mites don't live long away from the body, it is not necessary to dry-clean the whole wardrobe, spray furniture and rugs, and so forth.
  8. Treat sexual contacts or relevant family members (who either have either symptoms or have the kind of relationship that makes transmission likely).

Just as the itch of scabies takes a while to reach a crescendo, it takes a few days to subside after treatment. After a week or two, relief is dramatic. If that doesn't happen, the diagnosis of scabies must be questioned.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Carlita, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I got scabies when I used a public washing machine and didn't allow 20 minutes on hot in the dryer. I went to the doctor and took some medication and some cream. I still had the problem, so I went to the local pets store spent 8.00 on Harts mite shampoo for dogs and used it. The first time I washed very quickly (for pets they say leave on 5 minutes) and I was a lot better. I added it to my laundry and the problem was solved. I used a few times more (with no ill effects) just to be sure. Save your money, I'm on budget and this was traumatic for me financially and mentally. You can do this, it will be ok. I got a nice smelling coconut, not bad at all. Pyrethrin is the chemical that kills the mites-best I can offer. I was close to a breakdown over this. I wish someone had posted this solution for me. Good luck.

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Comment from: Jhulieteuk, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I was once a scabies patient. The most basic and the most non expensive remedy or cure for it is a small amount of alcohol, salt, vinegar and very hot water. Mix it all up and immediately press into the affected area for just a few minutes. The affected pores will pop out since salt, alcohol and vinegar dry up and dehydrate the inflamed pore; killing it is that easy.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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