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Permethrin for scabies can be a highly effective treatment with a low risk of side effects, but there are some concerns patients should consider. This medication is gentle enough to be used on pregnant and breastfeeding women, but overuse of permethrin can create skin irritation, so it is only suitable for one use. If a scabies infestation is persistent, it may be necessary to explore other options to treat the parasitic infection. Patients also need to follow directions carefully when they use permethrin for treating scabies.
This medication comes in the form of a skin cream that must be massaged thoroughly into the whole body and left on for eight to 14 hours. Many patients put it on before they go to bed to allow it to soak in overnight, and it can help to wear pajamas, gloves, and socks to avoid smears. Patients will need to wash with mild soap to remove the medication and must also wash all bedding, clothing, cushions, and other soft objects around the house in hot water to eliminate the scabies. Rugs and upholstery should also be carefully cleaned.
The benefit of permethrin for scabies is that the cream is usually very gentle and can be used on almost all patients. Even young children with sensitive skin can usually use the medication safely. Other scabies medications are harsher and may cause side effects like rashes and skin irritation. When a doctor wants to prescribe an effective treatment, this is often the first choice for patients with scabies.
Some patients experience permethrin allergies. These people shouldn't use permethrin for treating scabies because they can develop hives and burning, itching skin irritation. This medication is also extremely toxic for cats and should not be used in an environment where cats might have access to it. Furthermore, multiple uses of the drug can cause skin irritation. Patients should treat permethrin for scabies as a single-use medication for their safety.
It is important to be aware that patients may notice some itching and skin irritation after using permethrin for scabies. This does not mean they are reacting to the medication or that the medication didn't work. As the scabies die off and the body recovers, the generation of new cells will create an itching, uncomfortable feeling. Patients may find it helpful to take oatmeal baths or soak in baking soda to reduce the itching and soften their skin. This will allow dead skin to exfoliate and can get rid of the itching.