Skin Problems & Treatments Health Home

Lice, Scabies, and Your Skin

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Another treatment is a topical lotion called Sklice. A comb is not required with Sklice and one treatment may be all that's needed. The active ingredient is ivermectin, a powerful parasite killer. Sklice can be used in kids as young as 6 months.

Pubic lice are treated by washing the infested area with a special shampoo. Shampoos that kill lice (such as RID and A-200) are available without a prescription. Follow the directions on the bottle.

How Can Lice Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent lice is to avoid sharing combs, brushes, towels, scarves, hats, clothes, and other objects. Avoid close physical contact with someone who has lice. Examine and treat all members of your household who have had contact with someone who has lice.

If you find that your child has lice, notify your child's school, day care center, or babysitter. It is important to wash all combs, brushes, hats, and towels after each shampoo if anyone in your family has lice. You must also wash clothes, bed linens, and towels in the hot cycles of your washer and dryer. (Heat kills the insects.) It is not necessary to spray clothes or household objects with an insecticide.

Scabies

Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a microscopic mite called Sarcoptes scabei. The mite burrows into the skin. Within several weeks of the time the mite burrows, an allergic reaction occurs and severe itching begins.

The condition can affect people of any social class and everyone is susceptible. However, scabies occurs more often in situations involving crowded living conditions with poor hygiene.

How Does a Person Get Scabies?

In most cases, scabies develops after close, prolonged contact with another person. Scabies can easily be spread between sexual partners and household members. Scabies-causing mites can be scratched off the skin and can cause an infestation in another person. Infestation may also occur by sharing clothing, towels, and bedding -- mites can live in bedding for up to 24 hours or more.

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