Prescription medicated creams are commonly used to treat scabies infections. The most commonly used cream is permethrin 5%. Other creams include benzyl benzoate and sulfur in petrolatum. Lindane is rarely used, because of its side effects.
Creams are applied all over the body. The whole family or sexual partners of infected people may need to be treated, even if they do not have symptoms.
For difficult cases, some health care providers may also prescribe medication taken by mouth to kill the scabies mites. Ivermectin is a pill that may be used.
Itching may continue after treatment begins, but will disappear if you follow your health care provider’s prescribed treatment plan. You can reduce itching with cool soaks and calamine lotion. Your doctor may also recommend an oral antihistamine.
Most cases of scabies can be cured without any long-term problems. A severe case with a lot of scaling or crusting may be a sign that the person has a disease such as HIV.
Intense scratching can cause a secondary skin infection, such as impetigo.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if:
- You have symptoms of scabies
- A person you have been in close contact with has been diagnosed with scabies
Review Date : 10/11/2008
Reviewed By : Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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