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Scabies is treated with a topical cream or lotion that contains 5% permethrin or a 1% lindane. Treatment should be applied to the entire body, including the head, neck, and soles of the feet. It should be applied once a week for two weeks. After applying the cream or lotion, the person should take a hot bath or shower and then let air-dry.
The topical cream or lotion will usually start working within two days of treatment. However, it may take up to two weeks for the scabies to go away completely. During this time, it is important to keep the area clean and dry and to avoid scratching, as this can spread the mites and cause further irritation.
Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide and is the active ingredient in many scabies treatments. It works by killing the mites, but it can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. Therefore, if it is not working after two weeks, it is important to stop using it and talk to a doctor.
Verifying Treatment Was Successful
After two weeks of treatment, a doctor can verify whether the treatment was successful by performing a skin scraping. During this procedure, a doctor scrapes the skin with a scalpel to remove any mites or eggs. The scrapings are then examined under a microscope to determine if the treatment was successful.
Once the treatment is complete, it is important to take measures to ensure that the person does not become re-infested, such as quarantining them from others. This means keeping them away from people who have not been treated for scabies, as well as keeping them away from any areas that may have been contaminated with mites, such as furniture, clothing, or bedding.
If a person has been quarantined, it is important to follow up with a doctor to make sure the scabies has been completely eliminated. It is also important to maintain good hygiene habits, such as washing hands regularly and avoiding close contact with those who have not been treated.