Scabies - Home Treatment
All people in the household who have
had close skin-to-skin contact with a
scabies-affected person during the past month must be
treated. This usually includes everyone in the home, even if they don't have
symptoms. (Symptoms can take 4 to 6 weeks to develop after a person is
It is important to
treat the bedding and clothing of the affected person
to destroy any live scabies mites as soon as prescription treatment begins. To make sure that all scabies mites are killed, follow these steps:
- Immediately after starting treatment for scabies,
clean all the affected person's bedding and the clothing that he or she has
worn during the past 2 to 3 days (48 to 72 hours).2
Wash all items in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer. Or dry-clean
- Any items that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned must be
placed in a closed plastic bag for at least 7 days.
It is not necessary to make extra cleaning efforts, such as washing
the bedding daily or washing walls, floors, or furniture. The exception is for
people who have crusted (Norwegian) scabies: Do wash the bedding and clothing
daily while this form of scabies is being treated.
Nonprescription medicine for scabies mites
There is no
over-the-counter medicine that can cure a scabies
infestation. Over-the-counter lice medicines are not strong enough to kill
scabies mites. If you think you have scabies, do not use nonprescription
products before seeing your doctor, because doing so could make it hard to
diagnose your condition.
Nonprescription medicine for itching
You can use
one of the following over-the-counter medicines to help relieve itching from
Oral antihistamines (such as Benadryl).
These medicines will not interfere with the diagnosis or treatment of scabies.
antihistamines to your child unless you've checked
with the doctor first.
Corticosteroid creams (such as hydrocortisone cream). This type of medicine may make
the scabies sores look different and make it harder for your doctor to diagnose
the problem. Only use this medicine after your doctor has seen and diagnosed your condition.