What Is the Most Effective Treatment of Scabies?


Quick Answer

Medicated lotions or creams known as scabicides are the only recommended treatment for human scabies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scabicides are not sold over the counter and can only be prescribed by a doctor. Avoid using insecticides or fumigants to treat scabies.

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What Is the Most Effective Treatment of Scabies?
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Full Answer

Scabies is a skin infection caused by the human itch mite, reports the CDC. The mite burrows into the skin, causing intense itching. The itching and a pimple-like skin rash are the main symptoms of scabies. Norwegian scabies also causes a crusty skin rash. In some cases, the burrows of the mites are visible on the skin.

Although contagious, the infection is only caused by close, prolonged contact with an infected person, as there are just about 10 mites on each infected person, notes the CDC. However, people with Norwegian scabies can be infected with hundreds of mites and are highly contagious as a result. Having sexual contact with an infected person increases the risk of infection.

After treatment, itching can persist for several weeks after the mites have been killed, according to the CDC. During a first scabies infection, it takes at least two weeks for symptoms to appear after contact with the mite. In contrast, symptoms take only one to four days to appear during subsequent infections.

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