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Treatment for Scabies

Permethrin, lindane, or sulfur lotions are commonly used to treat scabies. For people with HIV or Norwegian scabies, ivermectin, which is taken by mouth, may be prescribed instead. Effective treatment means killing the mites, treating anyone who has been in close contact with the infested person, and preventing the scabies from returning.

Treatment for Scabies: An Overview

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 infested person
  • Prevent the scabies from returning.
 
Both the patient and family members can be treated with the same medicine.
 

Medicines Used in Scabies Treatment

Several lotions can be used to treat scabies. Common ones include:
 
  • Lindane
  • Permethrin (Elimite® cream)
  • Sulfur.
 
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 (eight hours). After eight hours, take a bath or shower to wash off the lotion. A second application of the same lotion may be necessary seven to ten days later.
 
For people with HIV or Norwegian scabies, ivermectin, which is taken by mouth, may be given.
 

Other Recommendations

It is important that all scabies eggs and mites be killed. So all clothes, bedding, and towels used by the infested person should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer two days before treatment for scabies begins. Special cleaning is not required for coats, furniture, rugs, floors, and walls.
 
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