Scabies - Topic Overview
How is it treated? continued...
or lotions are applied to the entire body from the neck down. The
medicine may also be applied to the scalp, face, and neck, taking care to avoid the
area around the mouth and eyes. In most cases, you leave the medicine on for 8 to 14
hours and then wash it off.
Children can usually return to day care or school after treatment
scabies medicines aren't safe for children, older adults, and women who are
pregnant or breast-feeding. To avoid dangerous side effects, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
you have scabies, you and anyone you have close contact with must all be
treated at the same time. This keeps the mites from being passed back and forth
from person to person. Until scabies has cleared up, you should avoid close contact with anyone and make sure not to share any personal items.
To make sure that all the mites are killed:
- Wash all clothes, bedding, and towels that you used in the 3 days before you started treatment. Use hot water, and use the hot cycle in a dryer. Another option is to dry-clean these items. Or seal them in a plastic bag for 3 to 7 days.
- Clean and carefully vacuum the room or rooms used by the person who had scabies.
After treatment, the itching usually lasts another 2 to 4
weeks. It will take your body that long to get over the allergic reaction
caused by the mites. Antihistamines (such as Benadryl), steroid creams, or, in severe cases, steroid pills can help relieve itching. Before you use these medicines, talk with your doctor about what is best for you (or your child).
If you still have symptoms after 4 weeks, you may need