Scabies Home > Killing Scabies

In order to treat scabies, you have to kill the mites and eggs. Often, this involves using lotions such as sulfur and permethrin. Other treatment goals include treating anyone who has been in close contact with the patient and preventing the scabies from returning. The infested person's clothing and linens should be washed in hot water as well.

Killing Scabies: An Introduction

The goals of scabies treatment are to:
  • Kill the scabies mites (Sarcoptes scabiei)
  • Treat any family members who have been in close contact with the infected person
  • Prevent the scabies from returning.
Both the patient and family members can be treated with the same medicine.

Can Scabies Be Killed With Medicine?

There are several lotions that can be used for treating scabies. Common ones include:
  • Lindane
  • Sulfur
  • Permethrin (Elimite® cream).
Always follow the directions provided by your physician or the directions on the package insert. Apply lotion to a clean body from the neck down to the toes, and leave on overnight (8 hours). After 8 hours, take a bath or shower to wash off the lotion. A second scabies treatment of the body with the same lotion may be necessary 7 to 10 days later.
For people with HIV or Norwegian scabies, ivermectin, which is taken orally, may be given.

Other Treatment Recommendations

It is important for scabies mites and eggs to be killed. All clothes, bedding, and towels used by the infested person should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer 2 days before scabies treatment begins. No special cleaning is necessary for coats, furniture, rugs, floors, and walls.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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