The main connection between sulfur and scabies is that sulfur and sulfur-containing medications are someof the the primary treatment methods for scabies. Other treatments are also available, but some of them have been found toxic to humans. Sulfur works by killing the mites which cause scabies symptoms, but it is generally considered safe for topical use by humans and animals. Infants are sometimes prescribed sulfur for scabies over other popular medications because it is less likely to cause dangerous side effects when used in small dosages.
Sulfur and scabies treatment are connected for both human and animal versions of the condition. Canine scabies is called mange, although it is caused by a different mite than the type which infects humans. For canine use, the sulfur cream should be rubbed on the skin and applied to the fur daily for up to one week, depending on the level of infestation. The cream can be washed off once every 24 hours, followed by another application.
Sulfur and scabies treatment options for humans work in much the same way. The cream is rubbed onto the skin in the infected areas and left for twenty-four hours. It is generally washed off at night and re-applied until the next evening. Sulfur has a pungent odor, so those using it may wish to remain at home as often as possible.
The use of sulfur and scabies medications such as permathrin should not be applied together unless directed by a health care professional. Permathrin is usually the treatment of choice for scabies because it requires fewer doses. Sulfur is used less often due to the smell and because treatment can take up to one week. Some patients who are allergic to permathrin or may respond better to sulfur, as may young children.
Sulfur should be used in the lowest possible dosage for the treatment of scabies and other skin conditions. When treating a young child, a doctor should be notified before treatment begins. It is important not to use any drug or cream that is not recommended for use in humans. The drug lindane was once advised for scabies treatment, but has since been found to be too toxic for safe use. Therefore, this drug should be avoided.