When treating the red, itchy rash caused by scabies, no over-the-counter product is proven effective, notes the Centers for Disease Control. A trip to your doctor is required to obtain a prescription topical medication. Scabies mites can exist without a human host for around 72 hours, lingering in clothing, linens and furnishings. To thoroughly kill scabies at home and reduce chances of reinfestation, treat the living environment concurrently.
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Things you need
- Prescription topical medication
- Anti-itch lotion (optional)
- Over-the-counter antihistamines (if recommended by your doctor)
- Washing powder
- Sealable plastic tubs or bins
- Vacuum cleaner
Use a prescription topical medication as instructed by your physician. The Mayo Clinic states that commonly used topicals to kill scabies on the skin may include permethrin lotion or crotamiton cream. These are generally applied to the entire body from the neck down in a thin layer.
Leave the topical medication on the skin for the recommended period -- the Mayo Clinic states these are generally left on for around eight hours, after which they are to be rinsed off.
Reduce discomfort caused by residual itching. Although topical medications kill the scabies mites and their eggs, the residual proteins left behind in the skin can continue to cause itching for some time. The Mayo Clinic advises cool baths or compresses, application of a soothing lotion (such as calamine) and use of over-the-counter oral antihistamines.
Treat all family members living in the same home simultaneously. The Mayo Clinic stresses that scabies are highly infectious, and even those who show no signs of itching or rash should receive treatment.
Treating the Human Infestation
Wash all launderable items of clothing worn two to three days before you used a prescription medication, as well as bedding and towels, advises the Centers for Disease Control. Machine-wash in hot, soapy water (at least 54.4 degrees Celsius) and machine-dry on hot air for at least 20 minutes.
Seal all items that cannot be washed (such as jackets, pillows and stuffed animals) in a plastic tub and place it outside the home. The American Social Health Association recommends items be sealed for two weeks to make sure all of the mites perish.
Vacuum carpeting, area rugs and furniture thoroughly. Dispose of the bag outside of the home as soon as you are through.
Eliminating Scabies in the Home
Tips and warnings
- ASHA indicates that there is no need to fumigate your home, nor do household pets need to be treated for human scabies.
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