Q:

What is the best treatment for scabies?

A:

Quick Answer

The best treatment for scabies is scabicide medication available only by a doctor's prescription in cream or lotion form, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No over-the-counter medication has been approved for the treatment of human scabies as of 2015.

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Full Answer

Adult patients and older children should apply scabicide all over the skin from the neck to the toes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For babies and young children, doctors advise applying scabicide to the head as well. Human patients should never use scabicides intended for use on plants or animals. Patients should follow the doctor's instructions and package directions for proper use, and they should leave the medication on the skin for the recommended period of time before showering and putting on clean clothing.

Household members and sexual partners of the infected person should also be treated for scabies, and treatment should be completed at the same time for all individuals to prevent reinfestation, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infected persons should wash towels, bedding and clothing in hot water to kill any stray scabies mites. Patients should consult a doctor about re-treatment if new rashes or burrows appear or if itching persists after two to four weeks.

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