WHAT ARE SCABIES?
Scabies are tiny mites which burrow under the skin and lay eggs which leads to an infestation. The main symptoms of scabies infestation is relentless itching (especially at night), pimple like rash and skin blistering.
Scabies is common and anyone can get it. It should be treated quickly to stop it spreading.
WHAT IS PERMETHRIN 5% CREAM?
Permethrin 5% cream contains an insecticide which kills insects that live on humans such as the scabies mite.
Permethrin cream is available on prescription or it can be bought from your local pharmacy.
HOW TO USE PERMETHRIN 5% CREAM TO TREAT SCABIES?
Permethrin 5% cream can be used by adults and children over 2 years of age.
All household members, close contacts and sleeping/sexual partners should be treated even if they have no symptoms. Everyone should be treated on the same day.
Apply a thin layer of the cream over your whole body including face, neck, scalp and ears. Try not to get any cream into your eyes. Please also ensure the cream covers your back, soles of feet, between fingers and toes, under your fingernails and genitals. The cream should be applied when your skin is cool and dry.
When applying the cream, pay attention to the areas where the mite burrows, such as the front of your wrists and elbows, beneath your breasts, your armpits and around the nipples in women.
Leave the cream on for 8 to 12 hours or overnight. After this time, you should remove the treatment by having a bath or shower.
If you wash your hands during treatment time, remember to re-apply the cream.
If breastfeeding, wash off the cream from nipples before feeding and then re-apply after the feed.
Repeat the treatment in the same way after 7 days.
For the 2 applications you would need:
- 2 tubes of 30g for an adult
- 1 tube of 30g for an older child
- Half a tube (15g) for younger children
WHAT OTHER STEPS TO TAKE WHEN DEALING WITH A SCABIES INFESTATION?
If you are applying cream to an infant or young child, put mittens on to stop them licking their hands and do not apply the cream to areas around the mouth.
Children should stay off school until the first treatment has been completed.
Clothes, towels and bed linen should be washed at 50°C or above after the first treatment. This kills the scabies mite.
Itchiness will continue for a while after successful treatment. If this becomes severe, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
It is normal for the itch to last for up to 2 to 3 weeks (sometimes 6 weeks) after the scabies mites have been killed. If the itch persists for longer than 3 weeks, you should however see your doctor as this could be due to treatment failure.