Scabies is a transmissible ectoparasite skin infection characterized by superficial burrows, intense itching and secondary infection. What do you know about treating scabies?

  1. Expect increased itching and red bumps for the first week after taking any medication for scabies. The dead mites remain in the skin for 30 days. They are removed with the body's natural shedding process. During those 30 days expect new bumps and itching.
  2. Your doctor can treat scabies with various topical medications, including permethrin (Nix, Elimite), crotamiton (Eurax), and, in infants and other sensitive people, sulfur in petroleum.
  3. The choice of a specific medication is influenced by a person's age, pregnancy, the presence of coexisting skin conditions, and medical history.
  4. Scabies medications usually are applied from neck to toe after bathing, allowed to remain on the skin for eight to 14 hours, and then washed off.
  5. Ivermectin (Stromectol) is an oral medication that also treats scabies effectively. It is given as a single oral dise followed by a repeat dose two weeks later.
  6. Lindane is another topical option, although serious side effects have occurred and it's considered a treatment option of last resort. Lindane is readily absorbed through the skin if the shower to wash it off is too hot.