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How Do You Know If Your Scabies Treatment Worked?

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In college I studied anthropology and neuroscience. I live in San Diego with my family, and I enjoy travel, music, and exercise.



Many Wonder If Their Scabies Treatment Is Working

Many people who receive treatment for scabies feel as though the medication isn't working. This often leads to more anxious trips to the doctor—and the possibility of unnecessary additional treatments using potentially toxic drugs. On top of that, there is the additional cost and stress associated with searching for a true cure.

To mitigate these concerns, it is helpful to understand more about the proper treatment of scabies, and what to expect during the treatment phase.

In this article, I will share the story of my yearlong battle with scabies, followed by a series of confusing and worrisome reactions to the treatment. It is my hope that this information will save others from the anxiety and heartache I experienced.

What Is the Standard Treatment for Scabies?

Currently, the standard treatment for scabies is to apply a 5% permethrin cream to the entire body, including the head, as indicated on the label. It is advisable to be absolutely thorough, making sure to cover all skin underneath any hair or nails. In my family's case, it was necessary to apply the lotion to our faces, including just inside the nostrils and on the tops of the eyelids (even at the base of the eyelashes), since these were the locations where the mites were found. Consult with your physician regarding the proper application of the medicine for you.

The lotion should be left on overnight. In the morning, all clothes that have been worn by an infested person should be washed, along with that person's bedding and any other surfaces or items that have been touched that can be washed. It is probably not necessary, but it would be a good precaution, to clean and vacuum out the car. The individual should then wash the cream off of the body.

This exact routine should be followed a second time one week after the initial treatment, so as to kill any mites hatched from eggs that may have survived the initial treatment. There is no known medication that will kill the eggs, so the second treatment is an absolute necessity. All individuals within the household should follow this treatment protocol at the same time, even if they are not experiencing symptoms.

What Is Post-Scabies Syndrome?

You probably will not experience immediate relief following the first permethrin application because it takes 48-72 hours for the lotion to kill the mites. Even after that, the eggs and feces they leave behind in their burrows may continue to irritate the skin until the body absorbs or expels the debris.

You should know that even though your treatment has begun, you are still very likely to experience some itching. This is called post-scabies syndrome, and its cause is currently unknown. People who have this condition continue to experience scabies-like symptoms long after the mites have been successfully eradicated.

My dermatologist told me that it was once believed these symptoms arose because the body was still trying to expel debris left by the mites. However, when the skin of affected individuals was biopsied, there was often no evidence of any such debris. She said it is now thought that the body may be exhibiting a long-lasting immune reaction—either to the mites and their debris that was once but is no longer there, or possibly to the permethrin treatment itself.

As with any prescription drug, permethrin does have potential side effects. Before using it, you should be certain to discuss those side effects with your dermatologist or medical professional. If there is any concern, your doctor may be able to suggest a less-harsh alternative.

Here, my focus is on permethrin because it is currently the standard treatment, and it is what ultimately worked for my family.

Even After I Started Treatment, It Looked Like I Still Had Scabies

My experience was that itchy bumps emerged in random places that were unaffected prior to treatment with permethrin, including on my face, arms, and legs. To my utter distress and confusion, these bumpy rashes were far worse than the original symptoms had been, and they seemed to be at their worst approximately one week following my second permethrin treatment. They continued to emerge periodically for about three months before everything finally went back to normal.

Whatever the cause of post-scabies syndrome, I now know that itchy bumps may continue to emerge for weeks, or even months, following successful treatment. If you talk to dermatologists who have a lot of experience with this condition, or if you read discussion forums online, you will find that many people report that these outbreaks occur in the very places the scabies' burrows had been prior to treatment. Others report excessive itchiness or twitching in the face after using permethrin.

It is understandably very difficult for a person who has suffered the trauma of an infestation to ignore these newly emerging bumps—and maintain trust in the treatment. However, in my family's case, it was necessary to wait it out for a period of about a month. During that time, the outbreaks became fewer and farther between, and they also became gradually less severe. In the meantime, we found it helpful to use an anti-itching cream such as hydrocortisone, and, less frequently, an antihistamine to calm the body's immune reaction until the symptoms let up. However, again, when using these medications, it is extremely important to first consult with a physician. Hydrocortisone in particular is a steroid, which is associated with its own set of potentially serious side effects.

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What If I'm Sure the Treatment Didn't Work?

Of course, it is important to recognize there may be alternative explanations for continued symptoms. Here are some very real possibilities:

  1. Inadequate coverage of the body with the permethrin cream. For instance, if your doctor told you not to use it on your head, it could leave some mites alive, in which case the entire treatment protocol would have to be repeated.
  2. Re-infestation could occur if clothing and bedding were not properly cleaned, if all members of the household were not properly treated, or if a person continues to come into contact with an infected person (perhaps someone they are dating or working with).
  3. Some strains of permethrin-resistant scabies have been reported. However, this seems to emerge primarily in populations that have chronic widespread problems with scabies infestations. It is unlikely to occur with just your average Joe who has contracted this condition only once.
  4. The biting and itching sensations could be due to one of several other mite species that are also known to affect humans, but that do not actually live and breed on humans (as scabies do). These generally include bird and rodent mites, which I will discuss in another article.

Are There Alternative Treatments?

In addition to permethrin, several other lotions are effective, including benzyl benzoate, sulfur in petrolatum, crotamiton, and lindane. Ivermectin (Stromectol), which is taken orally rather than applied as a lotion, is an anti-parasitic drug that is also effective. Tea tree oil has been shown to kill the mites—but it has not yet been approved for use, which means that it may not be entirely effective, may have undesirable side effects, or may not have been studied thoroughly.

I would beware of the many, many other bizarre treatments you might find online, as they are likely to be a waste of time, energy, and money. For instance, various bath ingredients may quell the itch but will ultimately do nothing to solve the underlying problem. There are several homeopathic treatments promoted online, but I cannot comment on their effectiveness as I do not have experience with them.

Learn More

General References:

Carey, Elea (medically reviewed by Laura Marusinec, MD). “Scabies Bites: How to Know If You've Been Bit and How to Treat.” June 29, 2016. HealthLine. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Scabies.” July 7, 2015. MayoClinic. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

“Scabies.” American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

More About My Experience:

To hear more about my family's difficult-to-diagnose-and-treat-yet-finally-successful battle with scabies, read my article called Atypical Scabies Symptoms.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Kundan on October 17, 2019:

Hello everybody. I am on my 4th week after my 3rd permethrin treatment (treated thrice with one week intervals from scalp down ). Is it normal that i am getting itchy red bumps on my fingers after treatment? I never had scabies on or between my fingers. But after treatment i am getting itchy red bumps on or between my fingers too ! Is it normal ? Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Tina on October 03, 2019:


Since this article helped me through my scabies infection journey, I am writing here to help others. I am on week 9th after second treatment and I am pretty sure I am healed. However, by 2 weeks ago I was not sure yet! I mean the post scabies symptoms are real, serious, and long lasting. I have applied permethrin 5% twice, one week apart from neck down. I cleaned my house by washing the cloths, bedding, towels, and vacuuming mattresses, coaches and carpets. That's it. It was enough for me and my family treatment. However, post scabies itchy pimples used to pop up till 7 weeks after the second treatment. Reading this article helped me bear these 7 stressful weeks and not putting more expensive and toxic pertmethrin on my body. Thanks.

Jonah Goldstein on June 27, 2019:

Hello everyone,

I’m dealing with scabies, I’ve had them for around 3 months (one knowingly). I did my 4th pemethrin treatment a couple days ago along with my 2nd ivermectin treatment. I’m currently staying in a place away from my apartment where I got infested. I took nu stock ointment last night with lotion and kept it on all night. I want to do an intense regiment while I’m away from my apartment so I can fully eradicate these bastards and go back to a normal life. My question is I’ve noticed after the 6th day of applying the permethrin I start to break out again with lines and bumps. On my last treatment should I do the permethrin on the 3rd or 4th day rather then the 7th?? Lemme know y’all, thanks. Btw this has been the most annoying experience of my life, we need to come up with a vaccination against these bastards!

Alex on June 03, 2019:

I want to tell my story with Scabies.

About 3 months ago, I started to itch like crazy. Had long sprawling track lines on my wrist + side of hands. Inner thighs were itching like mad. Wrists were almost bleeding that the rash got so bad!

Went to the doctors and she prescribed two causes of Permethrin. From treatment 1 to 4-weeks later, it largely subsided. During this time, new rashes and bumps would appear. Bizarrely the track lines would continue to get longer even after apply the permethrin.

4 weeks after the first treatment (2 weeks after the second treatment) , the rash re-appeared between my knuckles (after touching my girlfriend again). I could tell that this wasn't just a post-scabies rash as it was pretty material and so I returned to the doctors. She gave me another 2 sets of treatment of permethrin + hydrocortisone this time. The latter has been fantastic at reducing all those red bumps / marks that might just be a post-scabies rash that you allude to in your article.

It's now gone down largely. 2 days after my second treatment (ie today) (4th in total) I had a few red bumps and acne-like pus-stool appear on my finger again. I've applied the hydrocortisone which has actually reduced the size of these marks.

I'd like to think that this is just a post-scabies reaction (especially after having used permetrhin so much). There aren't any track-lines like in the beggining and the hydrocortisone pretty much quashes the red marks down to a tiny bump. I'll detox from the permethrin for a few weeks now, unless it flares up massively.

This page has been the one page that has actually helped me through this. Now when a new mark appears I don't freak out, and I keep a cool head. From 3 months ago to now, it's definitely improved.

Some things I'd add. I've been reading quite a few scientific papers on scabies which has helped my understanding a lot. I didn't take note of them as I read so can't source, but here are some of the findings I found useful:

* In a study on around 25 people on the effectiveness of treatment, around 75% of people are cured first-time with permethrin. After the second treatment, 100% of people were treated. For cromatronin (eurax), this was 65% in the first treatment, and 100% in the second.

* Once you have had scabies, your body has an increased sensitivity, especially to dust mites which are non-harmless. Try to reduce all dust in your house, as those red marks might actually just be a reaction to something else.

* Eat healthily and take vitamin tablets during the process. Paitents with a low immunity get crusted scabies, and have 500+ mites on their body. Theoretically, all scabies paitents should have this much due to the amount of eggs each mite lays. But the role of your immunity reduces this down to around 5-12 mites on an average person. I'm connecting the dots a little here, but I'm presuming the healthier you are therefore, the more likely your body is to resist these things. I also foudn when I took mineral tablets (berocca), it helped my skin grow back where those track line scars were + reduced itching since its an anti-hysteramine.

* Lastly, permethrin is actually able to kill eggs. I believe the conflicting information online about this is due to the stages of the larvae. I presuming it can kills eggs at a certain level of development, but not larvae that was layed immediately before you applied the first treatment (hence why 2 doses is recommended).

Kate M on May 27, 2019:

Thanks! I am teacher and that was my first thought, but the dr made made it seem like that wasn’t the case. I just didn’t notice any of my students ITCHING like I was and I’m normally on top of that! They scratch their head and I’m in the nurses office with them kind of person. So I was just confused where else I could have picked it up from. I don’t like the dr I saw so I’m in process of finding a new dr. The dr seemed like he was too busy for my questions and even when I tried call with questions I thought of afterwards it was hassle to get a hold of them. I have been uses Benadryl anti-itch cream for the random urges. I was just curious of maybe other options. Thank you again!

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on May 27, 2019:

Hi Kate - you don't have to be in contact that long, you just have to be kind of unlucky! You could get it from picking up a child who has it, possibly from daycare or a camp, or from an elderly person you may have been helping. Could be anything. I can't remember what the best thing for itching is, maybe anti-histamines, but you should ask a doctor. Definitely don't keep spot treating though, the permethrin is poisonous stuff.

Kate M on May 27, 2019:

Hello, I was diagnosed with Scabies about a month ago. I’m definitely dealing with post Scabies syndrome. I have two questions 1) what did you find worked best for the itching? It is starting to decline but just once in awhile I get a terrible itch sensation and obviously try not to scratch but sometimes it’s a reflex and I can’t help it. 2) I was so confused when the Dr told me I had scabies. I asked how I could have gotten it and he really didn’t give a great answer. So of course I had to search online. It sounds like you had to have a long exposure to someone who has had it. However, I never noticed anyone I’m in contact with on a regular basis itch like I did, nor am I sexually active. So how else could I have gotten it? Any ideas? I want to be able to avoid how I got it in the first place. Thank you in advance for any answers.

Ruby on May 05, 2019:

Mine was finally diagnosed as Lichen planus.

Not even scabies after all.

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on May 04, 2019:

Hi Sam,

No, they can't live off of you, but they will try, i.e., they will bite for a while and then die. The only concern you should have is that if you brought a few in your clothes or bedding, and there happens to be a rodent problem at your new place, they could find their way onto another host and begin to thrive again. But this scenario seems unlikely. Odds are your problem is solved.

sam on May 03, 2019:

that would make perfect sense. My apartment complex is very old. Back in November I woke up to a rat in my pantry and immediately had maintenance come look for and patch up holes. I never saw another one in my apartment but I continued to hear them run around in the ceiling. Since this post I've moved out of the apartment taking very very little with me and cleaning it thoroughly. No furniture. Do you know if these things can live on humans? I'm scared to have taken them to where I'm staying now despite having what little things I took with me cleaned. I haven't seen any mites since moving but I'm just concerned about having to deal with this all over again if a few of them managed to move with me

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on April 29, 2019:

Hi Sam - if you can see them without a microscope, they are probably bird or rodent mites coming from somewhere in your attic or under your house. this happens often if a nest has been abandoned due to painting or some other disruption, i.e., you probably had some sort of animal living in or around your house that recently left, leaving the mites with no food so they follow the CO2 and find you. these guys are transparent until they've eaten blood, after which they look dark red/brown/black. have a pest control person take a look.

sam on April 28, 2019:

I hope people still check this board because I could really use some help. two months ago I started getting small bites on my stomach in the belly button/waistline region and within a few days small dots spread to my back, thighs, and inner arm/elbow areas. the itching was absolute hell, it was all I could think about all the time and id never experienced anything like it so I went to the doctor who said I had scabies. She gave me the standard x2 permethrin treatments with applications one week apart. after the first perm treatment the itching stopped dramatically. I could function again but I was still getting new spots 2 weeks after the second treatment. I went back and she gave me two rounds of Ivermectin to take one week apart. after the first, there was absolutely no difference but after the second Iver dose I was free of spots for about a week. then I started getting 3 or 4 new spots every day again. I went back to my doctor completely devastated and she referred me to a dermatologist who originally treated me for a fungal infection with no improvement. my second visit to them, a little over a week ago, they did a scraping for scabies and didn't find any evidence of mites. She told me I was just stressed and prescribed cream to help with the itching and pills to help me sleep. I felt like they weren't taking me seriously so I went to another dermatologist a few days later when I was still getting spots.

Throughout this whole ordeal every few days I've seen tiny crawling bugs on me. When I notice them on me they just look like a tiny grey/black dot. I managed to trap two in plastic bags a few days ago. They are barely even big enough for me to make out a body shape but if I look very very closely I can see antenna or little legs. I only ever notice them because they tend to crawl rather quickly (in my opinion) around my hands (although I don't have the typical bites between my fingers) or I will happen to see them when I am checking for new spots on my body. Especially on my stomach, I sometimes will feel a sharp pinch or irritation and when I investigate it I will see one of these tiny things is crawling nearby. When this has happened a small red bump has always developed in the same area. Even more rarely I'll see even TINIER ones that are clear. I can only notice them because I just happen to be looking in the right spot and I see them crawl, usually onto something I'm holding or around my fingertips.

At the visit with the newest dermatologist, I took one of these bugs but she wasn't any help in identifying it. she said she had never seen a scabies mite outside of the skin so wouldn't know what it looks like otherwise. I'm waiting on biopsy results for one of the small bumps but the dermatologist proscribed me another dose of Ivermectin and perm (probably because I was near hysterics with frustration). I'll be doing those treatments again but I am 100% sure whatever these bugs are is whats causing my bites. my doctors not believing that scabies can be seen is enough to drive me insane. I've seen mixed information on whether scabies mites are visible or not and I guess the consensus from medical personnel is they don't know?

My question is has anyone else seen the mites? if this is scabies I can't be the only one who's had this experience...I feel like I'm losing my mind. I've spent the night looking for entomologists in my area I can take one of these damned things to for an identification since doctors don't seem to know. I am beyond desperate to get back to my normal life.

Scabies Terminator on January 16, 2019:

I thought I’d share my experience here since so much of the information found online and even among health professionals seems to be so incomplete — especially when it comes to post-treatment. I was treated with benzyl and ivermectin. The very first treatment of benzyl worked wonders to alleviate the itching and subsequent stress. I felt “treated” on that regard on week three, even though I tried to be very careful with clothing, bed clothing, desinfecting sofa, etc. I’m now on week 6/7 and apparently I’m one of those who has post-scabies syndrome or nodular scabies which translates to a few nodules of a few millimeters that persist. The itching is very residual and doesn’t happen everyday and is nothing compared to what scabies was which was almost constant. I’m not sure if these nodules were my fault because of intense scratching. From what I have read they can take up to a few months to heal because the body is getting rid of the debris and maybe some other processes somewhat unknown. I hope they won’t leave a scar. Because of the benzyl (I did like 5 applications of it) my skin was clearly dry and damaged but it’s getting better. My doctor prescribed hydrocortisone and I’m also using aloe Vera gel. I do have lonely red spots that seem like an allergy that can last to a few hours and then disappear. Well, anyway, here’s a shout out to anyone going through these processes. These scabies guys are the worst and even dead just cause enormous trouble and stress. But it gets better, there’s life after scabies. PS: I don’t think I will ever know how I got these.

Had the same experience on October 21, 2018:

It’s now been over a month since the second permethrin treatment. I have the remnants of two nodules going away and the scars are fading. No more itchiness related to scabies. One thing has happened which was a little disconcerting. I decided to go back to my hot yoga class about a week ago. Within 24 hours I broke out in about 40 small bumps on my arms, legs, fingers and hips. Some are itchier than others. I’m almost positive it’s not scabies. The bumps don’t ooze, are much smaller and not as raised, and they don’t itch anywhere near the intensity of the scabies itch. I’m thinking my skin has become hypersensitive from using permethrin and/or my body’s immune response is on high alert. I get a hive if I accidentally scrape my arm on something or if I use any soap with fragrance. I have never been sensitive to anything prior to scabies. I’m hoping this response to stuff will eventually subside. The new bumps are slowly going away and I don’t have any new ones. No more hot yoga for me I guess.

Had the same experience on October 01, 2018:

I'm now a little over two weeks past the 2nd permethrin treatment. It worked! Like I said in a previous post, 24-48 hours after each permethrin treatment I broke out in a rash in different areas which my doctor said was an irritant contact reaction to the permethrin. It really freaked me out as I wondered if the treatment had worked. Everything is now about 90% healed, although I have red spots where the bumps were. Initially, I had scoured the web day after day, looking for information. When different natural treatments I tried didn't help and the itchy rash kept spreading, I made an appointment with a dermatologist. I was diagnosed with scabies about one and a half months after the first bumps appeared. The first dermatologist I went to diagnosed me with eczema. I questioned the diagnosis because it didn't look like eczema to me as I have family members who have it. Thankfully I got a second opinion. Who knows how long I would have walked around with scabies if I hadn't. The biopsy that the first dermatologist did came back saying it was" eczematous dermatitis most consistent with an arthropod bite," although no evidence of the scabies mite was present. I also didn't have burrowing and it started on my right thigh (I guess it tends to start on the hands or feet). I guess maybe that is why the first dermatologist discounted scabies. The second dermatologist took one look at the report and my rash and said that it looked like scabies. I'm taking the time to write here to help others that are suffering with this and because I found this post one of the most helpful I found when I was searching the web. When I didn't know what the rash was at first, I tried apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol, MMS, ozonated olive oil, and ozone therapy. One of these things, I don't know which, might have slowed the spread of the rash, but every day I kept breaking out with new fluid-filled itchy bumps until it covered both my legs and was fast spreading to my arms.

Mark Watts on September 25, 2018:

Permitin NEVER worked for me or my family..we were 100% rigorous with cleaning etc and covered ourselfs in this cream for 5 MONTHS!! It THRIVED on this cream!! All this ads for creams are useless got to go with the ppl that are not with these companies promising cures..

Had the same experience on September 23, 2018:

Thank you for telling your story, as it helped me get through the post scabies experience. I broke out in a seemingly more severe rash within 24-48 hours after each permethrin application (I did two). I'm convinced it was an irritant contact allergic reaction to the permethrin treatment. I'm one week past the 2nd application, and I'm really noticing rapid improvement now. No new bumps since about three-four days after the second permethrin treatment. As anyone who has experienced scabies knows, this has been a harrowing experience, so your story really helped me to relax and have confidence in using the permethrin in the midst of new breakouts after the 1st and 2nd treatments.

I Want to help on March 01, 2018:

Hey guys, I am from Russia, you can try their products for scabies super cheap. They don't use permethrin. One thing makes me angry that permethrin only for 12 hours, but its not guarantee that it will kill eggs. So Russian benzyl benzoate, or sulfur 33% you should apply for 5 days and dont need to wash your body next day. All you need to apply over and over for 5 days. I have still scabies for 6 month and even cannot plan my pregnancy. That's something disgusting I have ever had in m life. You had effective methods please share. Good luck.

Luckylee Believe on January 29, 2018:

My permethrin is not active why?

orxyz88 on August 22, 2017:

Forgot to add - I used quite a bit of bug spray in my lotion and seemed to experience almost instant relief and the itching subsided almost immediately. It was as if I could feel the bug spray working and my skin began to feel a sense of calmness once I did this.

But I say again, I do not recommend this and I'm no doctor by a long shot. This is just what I did and about the one true thing that actually gave me fast results and actual relief without the recurrence of new bumps/burrows or itching.

orxyz88 on August 22, 2017:

This is the craziest thing EVER! The permethrin cream is almost $200 dollars for one tube. I was luckily able to get it somehow at Walmart pharmacy for like $40 dollars with a coupon (via pharmacist) after explaining my situation.

At any rate, the itching is hideous! I scratched so bad at night that I took my skin off. Prior to getting the treatment, I was so desperate that I used actual bug spray mixed with lotion in an attempt to kill them and sprayed my entire house/furniture with it. Of course I sprayed everything down with bug spray after cleaning/mopping with a ton of bleach. I showered, put a nice amount of the lotion mixed with bug spray all over my body over the course of a weekend and left it on for a little over 24 hours.

PLEASE NOTE - I WAS DESPERATE AND DO NOT RECOMMEND USING BUG SPRAY ON YOUR SKIN. However, I seemed to be just fine and didn't notice any type of reaction and pray I didn't do any damage to myself.

At any rate, after two treatments of Permethrin and my do it yourself bug spray mixed in lotion remedy, I haven't noticed any new bumps or experienced anymore itching at night. However, I did have some mild itching from dry skin due to using the insecticides. But that became much better after messaging my skin with Vaseline.

Again, I don't recommend the do it yourself insecticide lotion however, I was desperate and after reading online about the number of people who have suffered with scabies for months and some even YEARS! I decided to just take my chances.

The thought of tiny little bugs infesting my skin and living underneath it was just WAY TOO MUCH along with the horrendous itching, scratching my skin away and loss of sleep at night. Good luck to all those out there battling this horrific mite.

I also gotta say, its shocking the lack of treatment available outside of the Permethrin and the fact that the Permethrin seems to take so long to work - Or as some say, it works but you still have outbreaks due to "post-scabies syndrome." Seems to me they need to come up with a better way of treating these things. And I was told by two different doctors that the Ivermectin is not recommended when I inquired about it.

Also, I bought a mite repellent from the Tractor Supply store to spray all my clothes with after washing and drying them and used sulfa soap. The directions on the repellent said you only had to treat your clothes like once every few weeks and that it would last even through washing. Not sure how well these two worked, but it was worth a shot. Another tip I learned was Lidocain spray or Benzacain spray to help numb the itching. It helped, but seemed to wear off pretty fast and needed to put more on.

ron on July 23, 2017:

Hi Samoa6,

I was diagnosed with scabies a month back by my doc and prescribed Permethrin 5%, oral Ivermectin(2 tabs, 1 week apart) and cetrizine tablets( daily 2 tabs). I did everything as my doc said except the permethrin, which he said to use a week apart, but somehow I didn't notice that and used it 7 straight days. As I was taking anti-allergen, I didn't experience any itchiness for the first 2 weeks. But somehow I missed anti-allergen tablets for 1 day, and the very next I started itching once again. I thought I was not cured and took an anti-allergen and quite obvious I moved to doc the next day.The doc rectified me not to take the permethrin daily, infact not to use anymore, and prescribed the same second phase of treatment (except permethrin). I followed this time exactly what he said and took my last ivermectin exactly one week before. Now I take 1 anti-allergen nearly a day apart. But I still experience the nasty itching (mostly at the evening and night) the day I miss the anti-allergen, and it is all over my body, hands, shoulder, neck, backside, legs and seldom on my scalp also. I don't see any new burrows although but many pimple like bumps (some are red in colour) are still appearing ( and remains for 5-6 days) mostly at the back-side and a few at random places. But, yesterday, the itching was so severe that I thought it has come back once again and treated my whole body with permethrin once again. Can you tell me are these normal post-scabies syndrome ( as I have over-dosed myself with permethrin) or the scabies have returned once again?

But, before I end here, I must say I have never found a single site with so much of information as this one, not even the manufacturers of the medicines specialised for scabies provide so much of information. Thanks a lot for so much of information.

SA_posttreat on July 09, 2017:

Hi Samoa6, i know this forum is very old but i see you're still doing the wonderful thing of replying to incoming questions.

My story is this: I live in Kenya where acquiring Permethrin is near impossible. So i used benzyl benzoate and symptoms went away only to return strongly 3 weeks later (this is the second time ive had scabies). So i reapplied the benzyl benzoate all over and a week after. Once again synptoms left and again some came back some weeks later. So whats strange is that 3 weeks after i got some crawling feeling and new bumps, but no itching. This got less and less but now 5 weeks since treatment i still seem to have the odd red bump and faint crawling but no itch and i sleep like a baby. I am starting to see someone but not sure if i can be sexually active because of the possibility of scabies. My major questions is a) does this seem like the scabies is gone, and b) can one have scabies with only tiny crawling feelings and no itch?

Scabies Objectivity on June 29, 2017:

Thank you for the article, sound advice, for anyone not aware of Post Scabies Syndrom- like myself.

After multi treatments I still felt crawling sensations- shins, and face, and eyelash movement, but not biting. I read your article and realized I was provably cured long ago, but let anxiety, recation, and side effect get the better of me. Thank you for the description. Thank you for the objectivity ! It brough me back into focus. No more treating ghosts.

Kevin on May 31, 2017:

Ok well i don't know anyone with scabies and a few months ago i fell asleep while eating pizza ,woke up and saw a mouse on my bed. Can you send a link to your second article?

Rachel Duncan on May 21, 2017:

Thank you this article. So you put the Permethrin Cream all over your body? Even in your hair and face and under the eyes? Does it ruin your hair?

Karina on May 14, 2017:

This is the first time someone tells me how long it takes for the medicine to actually work. My dermatologist literally said just apply this cream and sent me on my way. And then they ask why we google things?? Thank you so much for writing this. I was about to go to urgent care as I did the treatment two days ago and it's only worsened.

EB on April 03, 2017:

My boyfriend and I were diagnosed with scabies last September after a summer of itching. We both took the permethrin treatment and that was effective for both of us. Whilst my better half did not have any side effects, I suffered terribly with the permethrin - huge sores all over my upper thighs/buttocks and the sides of my torso - it was the most pain I think I have ever been in and I scratched until I bled each night. The doc put me on 3 weeks of steroids and that cleared up the sores, but still now, 6/7months down the line I get unbearable itching sensations at night. As it's so long since I underwent the treatment I'm worried that the itching may be something more sinister - does this 'post scabies' really last ages? I just need some sort of relief finally !! Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated

mommabecky1976 on January 17, 2017:

My daughter who is 17 is suffering from what the Dr diagnosed as scabies it's been six days now and I'll be giving her the second treatment tomorrow...We are using permethrin 5%. What is bothering me the most is the large sores she has on her buttocks near her groin area stomach arms breasts... They look horrible and painful .She tells me they are very painfulnd she tries not to itch but it's impossible....Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated my email is

Help! on December 29, 2016:

My daughter brought home scabies from school. We finished out second treatment five days ago and I still feel like things are crawling on me! Could that be the permethrin cream or scabies?

yo man on December 22, 2016:

sounds good but lets see. I'm exactly 1 week post second treatment and like you feel it's at it's worst since treatment, but it doesn't seem like the way it was before treatment. It does seem to be healing. Time will tell. I will wait it out because i don't feel like paying another 25 to the doctor if this is really true!

Callum on December 17, 2016:

Thank you, most informative, glad to know I'm not paranoid (currently suffering with post itching 1 week after second treatment with creme)

lyla on December 01, 2016:

Hi, Our family was incorrectly diagnosed. We all put the cream on about a month ago and then told it was not scabies. Now we have a confirmed case with my sister and son and we are still itching. So do we start all over again and do one week apart even though we did one dose a month ago?

Pam on October 24, 2016:

I don't know if this has been asked yet. I have different kinds of marks - singular red bumps with a dark red center, double red marks close together, and tracks. My doctor recently diagnosed it as scabies just by looking at it, and prescribed permesthrin. So are all these different types of marks scabies, including the two marks close together?

joe on September 21, 2016:

I began this journey in early July. I work in hospital setting so I believe this is where I picked up scabies as definitely not from sex as it has been a while. I knew enough about hearing about scabies that this is what was going on with me. For me, definitely on scalp, face, nose and ears as well as neck, chest, armpits, back, back of arms. Nothing on lower body. I obtained permethrin online enough for 2 treatments. I applied from head to bottom of feet 1 week apart. After 1rst treatment I could actually feel these mites crawling around my face and in my ears (nasty sensation) also felt as pinpricks. I started regiment of cleaning clothes, hot wash and dryer along with towels. I changed clothing everyday along with using clean towels. 1rst treatment left on for about 10 hours, then washed off. I also bought sulfur soap and ointment. I showered every day with sulphur soap and made sure I washed my hair, made sure I worked soap into my ears and in nose. This helped with calming down rash and soothing skin. 2nd treatment same regiment. It was helpful to read about post scabies reaction as I definitely had that. New bumps would show and itching from time to time, though usually would go away. My body was healing as sores from scratching were healing. On my face, new bumps would come out though used the sulphur ointment as needed and would shower every other day using sulphur soap. Again this was calming and soothing. Well over 2 months now and feeling more confident that mites eradicated. New bumps come up here and there, though I don't panic and trust that it is skin reactions to permethrin and will dissipate over time. Definitly feeling better and not look at my face everyday and see these bumps or pimple like things on my face. Sores from scratching definitely healing. I continue to shower at least 1 time a week with the sulphur soap and use the sulphur ointment. At work, I now every morning wipe down my office area with caviwipes just to disinfect area as I believe this is where I picked up mites from. I work directly with patients and some of them are not taking care of themselves in many ways so it is not a stretch to think that I came into contact with someone who was infested. Anyway, I want to offer hope to those of us who have gone or are going through this as it is psychologically draining. The treatments work if done correctly. I will plug for sulphur soap and ointment. One side benefit from sulphur soap is that as I washed my scalp and hair, my long standing dandruff has seemed to go away. And I had bad case most of my life, isn't that something. Thank you for your posts and hope that mine will add to the hope of others that scabies can be treated successfully.

Nana on September 16, 2016:

Hi,I've just started using permethrin to help cure the scabies I have but wanted to verify if it also affects your genitals.becuase I have these rashes on my penis and it itches really bad.applying the cream for the second time.woukd appreciate your response.thank you

Winsty on September 07, 2016:

While reading your article as I've just been diagnosed with Scabies(proceed with the skin crawling. ugh) I have now an severely heightened sense of paranoia. I'm not sure what's worse, the itching, the fact that I know bugs are in my skin, or the paranoia. But after reading what the CDC had to say about permethrin, they have stated that in fact Permethrin DOES kill both eggs and adult mites. As I'm sure you understand I'm more inclined to believe those of the CDC and my doctor as well. I felt like it would be worth it for you attempting to console others in this boat especially since it pretty great news. It is also worth noting that I'm pretty sure if I had focused and studied this much on one single topic in high school I would be a much smarter individual... but I guess that's what the internet and having Scabies does to a lady! In order to avoid trouble with the link, you can Google - CDC Permethrin Scabies - and it will be the first link to appear on your search!

clemi on August 26, 2016:

hi, thank you for a very informative and helpful article. For how many days must you wash all clothing, towels, bedding and disinfect carpets, floors, furniture etc.? Its becoming a very costly exercise.

Bryson's story on August 17, 2016:

He prescribed permethrin 5% for the whole family. He said that we all should be treated with the cream all over the body including our faces. He didn't mention the scalp and now I'm worried that we didn't kill all the mites. We did the treatment that same night and then again on the 7th day. The first week after treatment, I noticed little red and sometimes fluid filled bumps that looked like pimples. Some we itchy and some weren't. My son and I would get a few a day. Also, I felt crawling sensations on my feet and random spots of my body. After the second treatment of putting it all over including the face but not the scalp, I noticed after the second day of completing the treatment, I was still got a couple red bumps on my arm. My son in the other hand broke out all over his shoulders. He had has a few red bumps on his face, neck and arms. At this point I am thinking a million things. I wonder if this is an allergic reaction from the cream or maybe we still have scabies because we didn't treat our scalp. I'm sooooo drained about all this and it seems to be a never ending thing. As a mother that tries to be the best mother, I feel so helpless with this situation. This issue with scabies is also putting a strain on my relationship with my husband because he thinks I'm over reacting too much about the whole thing. I tell him that it's easy for him to say because he's not the one suffering from it because he has no scabies symptoms. I have a total of 5 people in my family and me and my 3 year old some is the only one suffering with the symptoms. Thank god it's not all of us. Tomorrow my son has an appointment to see his pediatrician again. He's also going to see a dermatologist the same day because I want a second opinion on what's going on with his skin. What's killing me that I don't know and would have more peace of mind if someone could just tell me exactly what's going on so that my some and the whole family can be treated the right and fastest way. I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow in hopes that the doctors have enough knowledge to know exactly what to do next so that we can move on with our lives and finally scabies free. I'll give an update again soon. Thanks for letting me share my story.

Bryson's story on August 17, 2016:


My 3 year old son is experiencing the same thing you are and at this point, I'm just furious. Here's our story.

My son and I got scabies from my mother who lived with us for a couple of months. During that time, she started a care giver job. About 3 weeks into her working at this home that had about 4 patients in it, she started to to get itchy rashes and bumps all over her body. At first, we all thought that she was just getting bug bites because the house had a huge garden in the front and back yard. About a few days past and she just couldn't stand the itch rash anymore so she went to the emergency room to see if they could somehow give her some relief for her condition. My mom has a heavy accent and doesn't understand explanations very well. When she got home from seeing a doctor she told me that they prescribed her with a few different prescriptions. One was an antibiotic and the other was to help clear her spots/irritations up. She also was told to get an antihistamine for her itch. She never gave me the name of her condition when I asked her because like I said, she doesn't understand explanations very well and didn't seem to understand the doctor at that time. So I just let it go and I was just glad that they prescribed her medication so that she was finally going to get some relief for her condition. Another few days past and while she was at work cleaning, she found out that the house she was working at was infested with bed bugs and with whatever other bugs and mites. She found them all herself when she lifted up one of the mattresses because she was trying to make up the bed after doing some laundry. She suddenly freaked out and called her supervisor. She stayed and helped clean and disinfected the mattress and washed what needed to be washed. After her stressful day of cleaning and trying to kill all the bugs, she called me and told me what had happened. I hate any kind of bugs in general let alone bed bugs. I didn't know much about the critters until I did some research on it. I told her that she couldn't come back to my house unless she cleaned and disinfected all her belongings that was with her and also the clothes that she had on. She did just that and returned to my house. She never went back to work for that home after that because she just disgusted with the infestation. Everything seemed to be fine after her return but she ended up moving out to stay with my brothers. About a week after she was gone, I noticed a red bite mark on my 3 year old sons face. I didn't think anything of it because I thought maybe it was just a facial breakout that he got from like rubbing his face when his hand was dirty and I just rubbed 1% hydrocortisone on it just I case it was itchy. A few days later it was the weekend and went as a family to the American river to swim there. The next day I noticed a couple of bumps that was right next to each other on my ankle. I just treated it with hydrocortisone as well thinking that it was just a bug bit that I just got from being at the river the day before. Everyday after that, I was noticing a new red bump/bumps on me and my son. It was then when I started to wonder what this was. So I took my son to the emergency room to get the bumps checked it out to make sure it wasn't chicken pox or maybe something he was allergic to from being at the river. I really thought it was that! The doctors at the emergency room said that it was nothing than bug bites probably because of being at the lake and it wasn't chicken pox. I didntshow them or talk to them about my bites because I figured him and I had the same exact thing and that we just got a few bug bites from being at the river. Everyday from that point on, we were still getting a few new bumps. I started getting concerned and called my sons pediatrician. I brought him in the very next day and we were diagnosed with SCABIES!!!

Samoa6 on August 12, 2016:

Hi Webdevguy,

Same thing happened to us. We feel it was a somewhat longer than you might expect reaction to the permethrin. For a while, we kept treating with perm thinking it hadn't worked, but this only made it worse. These rashes are totally random, and they will lessen with time and eventually go away - or at least they did for us. The did however continue to emerge randomly for up to 3 months.

Webdevguy on August 12, 2016:

About a week after my 2nd scabies treatment I got read patches all over my legs and arms, in places I did not notice scabies before. My doc said it was maybe an allergic reaction. Steroid creams helped a bit. Now the patches have come all over my lower back, hips and on my upper abdomen, again, in spots I didn't have scabies. I never had these issues before! And, it's so weird that it occurred after my 2nd treatment. (I do have psoriasis, for over 20 years.) It really seems like eczema. On both of my forearms my skin is red on the interior elbow area too. My gut tells me its either my body's reaction to (1) left-over scabies junk or (2) the permitherin treatment. Anybody with similar experiences? Is this "post scabies eczema" perhaps? Will I be plagued with this forever or should it improve? Any suggestions would be welcomed. I called the dermatologist and asked if the scabies could be coming back. They said maybe and that I should try another 2 rounds of permitherin. BUT, if these skin issues are as a result of permitherin I'm scared. Thoughts?

Itchy mom of 2 on July 24, 2016:

I'm still getting itchy spots popping up randomly and disappearing, but no one else has had them in a couple days. I've realized that they pop up due to heat, too. This ordeal has made me rethink our environment, our skin care, and given me a new perspective on quality of life.

Itchy mom of 2 on July 21, 2016:

I've stayed quiet in the online forums and done a lot of late night reading. The Topix forum was a bit scary and overwhelming.

My daughter was diagnosed with scabies 3 weeks ago, after about 4 weeks of mild symptoms. Her symptoms were atypical, starting on the back of her upper leg and winding down around her knee. The nurse practitioner at the walk-in clinic did a thorough exam, asked 20 questions, prescribed one tube of permethrin cream for only her, and sent us on our way.

I came home and put the cream on her from the chin down (as the instructions said), then I researched like a mad woman. I cleaned the house top to bottom, sprayed carpets, rugs, and couches with permethrin spray, put dust mite allergy covers on all mattresses and pillows, cleaned all clothing and bedding, bagged what couldn't be cleaned, mopped all tile with a disinfectant/borax solution, and wiped every hard surface with clorox wipes. I sprayed permethrin spray in the cars. I vacuumed mine the next day, but I let my husband's car sit for one week while he was traveling.

I got the pediatrician to order more permethrin for our son and daughter to use, and my GP called in an order for me and my husband. The next time we treated, we all treated from the scalp down, then I did the same cleaning routine. We all treated on the same day 7 days later, from the scalp down, followed by one more big clean of everything. My husband did his treatment while he was away on business.

3 weeks out: my daughter's leg is clear except for some scarring on her knee. My son complained of mild itching around his groin 2 days after the second treatment. He has eczema, so I applied some Sarna lotion and kept an eye on the area. One little bump appeared, but it went away overnight and nothing else has shown up on him since (7 days ago). My daughter had one little itchy bump on her chest 2 days ago, but only when she got sweaty. My husband has no symptoms. I have the worst post-symptoms. I get little red bumps that appear and shrink or disappear throughout the day. I'll notice an itch and find a little bump. I spray it with anti-itch spray, put tea tree oil or sulfur ointment on it, and leave it alone. It always coincides with one of two things: where my clothes rub, or where I get damp from sweat.

My daughter was the only one that showed symptoms before treatment. I had tingling on the soles of my feet after the second treatment that continued for about 48 hours. Right now every little itch or irritation is subject to examination and treatment with either sulfur ointment or tea tree oil, and anti-itch spray if needed.

I'm still cleaning. I am vacuuming on one day, then mopping and wiping surfaces on the next. Bedding is getting cleaned every other day and sprayed in between. Showers and tubs are sprayed every day. We only use clothes and towels once before we wash them.

On August 17th we have an appointment with a dermatologist who has experience with scabies, does scraping, and is highly rated. I just need to balance diligence with sanity until then.

The cream was expensive, but we made due to get it. I purchased sulfur ointment, and I already had tea tree oil, borax, apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt, and bleach for baths, cleaning, and/or topical.

We are skipping a family vacation next week, because one of the family members had close contact with us before treatment, and their family refuses to do preventative treatment. Since we would be sharing a condo, I won't take the risk.

Our case has not been severe, but the mind games are overwhelming. I went from angry, to frantic, to paranoid and obsessive, to some form of vigilant with an undercurrent of paranoia and panic. Isolation has been tough, especially for my daughter. The constant cleaning and laundering took a toll on me, and I wound up with a nasty case of bronchitis that required meds. Our house is 3,500 square feet and I am not a fan of the size right now. A full cleaning plus laundering all bedding and used clothes takes anywhere from 5-7 hours on any given day.

I just want a place to document our progress and my feelings during this waiting time. Knowing now how what a toll this takes physically and mentally, I'm keeping you all in my prayers. Please do the same for us.

* I apologize for any typos. This was typed on my phone.

Cat uk on March 09, 2016:

Thanku. I would like to think I covered every available patch of skin possible! I never actually experienced a rash, just the tell tale itching. Have bought some tea tree oil today so hoping several drops in my bath tonight will help to alleviate the itch! Fingers crossed! My husband thinks I'm crazy! Lol. X

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on March 09, 2016:

Cat uk - it's been a while since i checked up on this article, but it does sound like you're on your way to better times. we itched several months after the perm treatment, so don't freak out about that. really, if you did a full coverage treatment, twice with one week in between, you should trust you are good. even if you break out from time to time with rashes and bumps. this is part of the process - your body is reacting not only to the mites but also to the permethrin, which is poison. there were many times when i thought we still had scabies due to rashes etc. way after treatment, but i fought the urge to use permethrin again and eventually it all went away. you'll be fine. the mites are actually quite tiny and extremely vulnerable. they will not survive permethrin unless you missed an area.

Cat uk on March 08, 2016:

Thanks for that cured in San Diego. We ended up treating again from scalp down and followed as much advice from other threads as possible. I washed all clothes/bed linens whilst I still had the cream on to the point of feeling so sick (after 15 hours) I had to wash it off! We unfortunately cannot get hold of ivermectin here in the UK so permethrin seems to be the only viable option alongside scrupulous/excessive/obsessive cleaning. We're now 2 weeks after our 4th treatment and I'm still itching (no other family members have experienced any symptoms at all) but guessing for my sensitive skin it's down to the perm?! Just a case of waiting it out now and keeping my fingers crossed!

Cured in San Diego on March 05, 2016:

Hi Cat uk & ScaredinLondon,

I know this site is way heavy with posts, but it still has good knowledge on it. This little humble thread of posts is one of the very best resources on the web about scabies. My posts are scattered way up, about a year ago. I have outlined way up there on what I would do different again.

Anyway, words of advice to both of you:

1) The itching itself is not the best indicator. The permethrin is it's own itch inducer. It will make you itch every time you come in contact with it on furniture, the floor, tables, knobs. Anything that may have it on it due to your actions when you were walking around the house with it on. I had to throw out many things with permethrin on them after my recovery. Every time you use Permethrin, you will itch for at least a week after that, regardless if you still have scabies or not.

2) Use the permethrin head to toe, scalp too. Don't worry, I called the Disease Control Center, its not that toxic. But, try to use it as less times/repeats as possible. The more you use it, the more your immune system has a memory of it built up. I used it 8 or 9 times out of panic, I'm paying for it a year later, but not that bad.

3) Try to alternate permethrin with Ivermectin. Ivermectin is the good stuff. It doesn't have all the reactions that permethrin gives you. You drink it on an empty stomach. If you search "san diego" on this thread, you'll see the alternating schedule I recommended. Permethrin works outside in, ivermectin works inside out.

4) Minimize your footprint at home. cycle your areas into day a, day b, day c, if possible, day d. This allows areas to be rid of scabies so you don't re-catch them on furniture or carpeting. Use lots of plastic bags. I went through at least 100 plastic trash bags. Learn to undress standing in a bag. bag it, let it sit three days, then be careful when you wash it. open the bag while its in the machine. if you wear clothes while you have the permethrin, wash them all (shoes, flipflops, etc.) because putting on shoes with permethrin will make you itch and cause unnecessary exposure to it. Treat the permethrin like an on/off switch -when not covered, avoid it. Don't even touch the tube. I would do this spot-treatment thing on the hands and feet. Was it smart? I did it and got rid of them, but paid the price of irritating my skin all over again.

5) Even if cured, you're still going to itch on the hands and feet for quite some time. Me, it's still a year down the road, on dry days, some itching comes back. Do a thorough process completely, watch everything you do, rather than go by the amount of itching. Because that is deceiving.

6) Store your common use items: car keys, lanyards, wallet, watch, belts, possibly shoes, pens, planners, meds, etc. in the freezer. Use the freezer as much as you can as a holding tank for your things.

7) put trash bags or towels on your car seat(s). Learn to change them out with every cycle. Carry trash bags in your car so you can package things quickly.

8) these tips may seem extreme, but they aren't. Reading the experiences above demonstrate what a life-changing struggle it becomes. I got mine from playing chess with an infected person that I shook hands with after the game. I won the game, lost my sanity.

A note to both

ScaredInLondon on February 15, 2016:

Hello Samoa6 - I hope you and your family are well. Thanks for sharing your story which is so helpful considering the seemingly lack of knowledge/information provided by the GP I saw in London, and in light of all the nightmare stories I have read online. I have completed my first Permethrin treatment saturday but did not cover my face and scalp. Even though my scalp is badly itching. I am now wondering whether I should retreat myself tomorrow and include the face and scalp and then do it again 7 days after, this time for the eggs that would have hatched. What are your thoughts on this. I don't want to overuse the cream given the side effects I have already experienced (feeling kind of nauseous) - but don't want to leave it to chance as to whether I will be fully treated. What I fear is that if I apply the second treatment on Saturday this time including the scalp, it might mean that I have killed the adult scabies from my scalp and the adults that would have hatched in the 7 days following the first treatment, but the eggs from the scabies from my scalp may still be hatching post Saturday... I'm being paranoid? How bad can it really be to apply 3 time the permethrin cream? I hope you're still answering - you seem to be one of the few person online with a deep understanding on how to treat this mess. Many thanks in advance

Cat uk on February 14, 2016:

Hi. NoT sure if this hub is still being monitored but would love some advice regarding scabies. I came into contact with a patient at work (I'm a nurse in a doctor's surgery) literally touched him for 10 seconds if that! I've suffered with scabies before (albeit 18 years ago) so within 24 hours I was itching - minimally but obviously I was very aware of the fact I had been into contact with scabies. A week after this contact I was still itching so made the decision to treat myself and family with 5% permethrin. I allied it to my face downwards as did hubby but I covered the kids head to toe. Did all the normal washing etc. The next morning I woke up to a burrow on my left ring finger! Not particularly itchy but very obvious white curved line. We then repeated the treatment 7 days later and this time myself and my hubby also did from scalp down. 4 weeks on and I'm still getting itching around my nose and on my scalp but no where else. I'm wondering if this is likely to perm reaction or because I didn't treat my scalp the 1st time??

ARainey on November 03, 2015:

Gosh, I hope I never need this article but it is thorough nonetheless!

infested2 on June 22, 2015:

tired mama,

I will try the gluten free diet for a week and see if it helps. My belly still has the little red lots. Some days are more than others as they tend to come and go. Again, they are not itchy but it freaks me out just to think of it. The allergist who treated me never did a scrapping and by the 2 permd treatment, my rashes were dried. The Derm appt I booked, got me a visit with a PA who insisted we wouldnt be able to find anything. So until today I dont know what I really had. My hubby never developed any symptoms and I think i am waiting on the itching syndrome to wake me at night so I can book another appt. My family thinks that this might be stress as my body reacts funny to it. I remember I got angiodema on my lip last year the day after my mom was released from the hospital after a heart attack and 9 days in the hospital.

Tired mama on June 18, 2015:


I just read that a lot of people with celiacs have dyshidrotic eczema ( tiny blisters on hands) and that kind of eczema can often be confused for scabies since they both have blisters on the hands. Gluten sensitivity can cause all sorts of skin issues so it would be worth it to go gluten free and see if it helps clear up your skin. We were already gluten free long before the whole scabies debacle but we actually had a confirmed scraping so I know that's not our case. But I have been letting my daughter have gluten a lot lately so maybe that explains her itchy hands. We shall see. If it worsens we are going in for another scraping, although I may need to find a 3rd dermatologist to do it. I think after a few visits to have them check for scabies they stop taking you seriously :/

Tired mama on June 18, 2015:

Hey guys update from the last time I posted, the rash on my daughters inner thigh was once again named ezcema. They prescribed a cream and it went away instantly. Again we've been back to normal awhile but things have popped up here and there that leave me uncertain. Had a big family wedding with lots of hugging and people touching the baby and a day later he had a couple bumps on his foot. I've had some itchy spots here and there but they always go away. Then the last two days my daughter has had icthing in between her fingers with couple of tiny water filled bumps. I remember when we infested her hands and wrists were filled with blisters so I'm getting nervous. My mom is convinced we caught this from the family and not my old job like I thought because there is a cousin who for years has been covered in bug bite looking bumps and scars( and Guess who she hugged at the wedding? Me! Ugh) my mom was still battling all this time but has been saying she hasn't had any bites lately and the other day she picked up my son and held him. I was shocked at first but then I just let her cause I felt so bad she hasn't held him in 9 months. My daughter saw this and immediately wanted to hug and kiss her grandma cause again this hasn't been allowed in 9 months. It breaks my heart what scabies has stolen from my family. But I'm also paranoid now cause after my kids touched her my daughters hand is itchy and has bumps. I'm hoping it's just still post reactions perhaps to the humidity but time will tell. Ever since I was really young every summer I have always gotten itchy hands with tiny little water filled blisters( I called it my summer disease) I think it's a form of eczema so I'm praying my daughter has just inherited it. I can't wait for the day I truly feel I'm over this fiasco!

Ruth on June 18, 2015:

I will repost a comment I posted further back because I know it is hard to go back and read through everything. I had scabies last spring and I know they are gone but my skin is still affected. We have had humid weather and I am work out hard in the warmer weather. Yesterday I sprayed with hairspray without a shirt on and some landed on my back. After I walked and perspired last night my back started itching like crazy. I had to take a washcloth and rinse my back. So, it is obvious that the perithrim cream has long term effects for sure. But, my derm was adament to NOT reuse the cream, just soothe with coconut oil if you find a bump-even cortisone cream he said can make it worse. Someone mentioned about a gluten allergy but I was under the impression that you can't test for that in blood work that you have to eat gluten to see if you react to gluten-not sure about that.

Amanda on June 17, 2015:

It's kind of hard for me to remember but I feel like I did get red bumps here and there after using the cream. In fact I think my skin is still healing months later. It was one of the worst mental experiences I've ever been thru in my life. I was so stressed out and my mind was messing with me thinking I (my family) still had it. It sounds stupid but it has really changed my view on even simple things in life. Just try and stay positive!

infested2 on June 16, 2015:

thanks amanda. I feels better to hear that this is okay. On another note, did you get very small pimple like dots on your skin? i have noticed that i am getting them on my belly and it happens that today I have more of them. I am wondering if they are back, but this is not itchy at all and if it werent for the red dots I wouldnt know they are there. Thanks again.

Amanda on June 16, 2015:

I'm sure it is just a reaction from the perm. I know the feeling you're talking about. It literally feels like stuff is crawling on you but I think it's just nerve damage/reaction. I even felt that way a couple of months after I had used the treatment and went to the tanning bed. It freaked me out and I thought I had contacted it again but had to think of what I did diff and it was the tanning bed. Patience is your best friend at this point. I'm sure they are gone it's all just a reaction yet from the cream :-)

infested2 on June 15, 2015:

tomorrow makes 2 weeks that I am off any medication for scabies and no new burrows can be found in my skin. I see that my rashes are slowly fading and I am not longer itchy whatsoever. However, the crawling i feel sometimes is bad to the point I pound of my hand to make it go away. Is this normal? It feels like a mite will crawl out of me anytime. It is worse in my scalp and I did apply perm 2x head down. ( i showered before so my hair was somehow wet. Do you think that could have anything to do with the crawling? My scare is that as far as I understand my rashes reflect an allergic reaction due to the mites. So I probably had then 4-6 weeks before I realized. I am afraid they are still there growing and growing and I am not doing anything. I do get the red, not-itchy marks that last a few hrs then go away. What do I do? :(

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on June 03, 2015:

infested2 - after your second treatment, or for you, after your third since the first one was not apparently full body, you should have killed everything. the first treatment is meant to kill anything alive at the time, while the second is meant to kill all the eggs that were present at that time, since the permethrin does not kill the eggs. this is why you wait one week, to make sure all the eggs have hatched so the second treatment will kill them. you will probably continue to break out a bit though in random places at random times over the next few months. this is most likely just your immune system reacting to the permethrin, which looks very similar to the rashes caused by scabies themselves.

infested2 on June 03, 2015:

can you tell me how long should I think of myself as contagious after treating myself with permethrin 3x (1week apart and last 2 weeks head to feet) and two doses of iverm? The allergist didnt know and said "lets google it" but still have me no clear answer. My husband still sleeps on the other ed and I still have no contact with any family. For how long do I keep changing bedding and doing laundry like crazy? Thanks for the input.

infested2 on May 27, 2015:

so i got some blood work results today from the lab as i had my second round of tests and the results mentioned something with gluten sensitivity. And this makes me super upset for using perm and iver if I never really needed them. :( Thank God im seeing someone tomorrow. Thought Id sure to make sure people start taking the meds when they are really diagnosed and not just the "i believe", "it looks like it" word of mouth.

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on May 25, 2015:

Infested2 - if you didn't treat your scalp, i would consider redoing the whole treatment for the reasons stated in the article. also, i would not sleep in the same bed until i knew for certain i was cured, which you will be if you simply follow the permethrin instructions, including scalp. do not do anymore treatments than 2, with one week in between. anyone in your house should also do the treatment bc people often have them without knowing and pass them on to others before figuring it out. i would not waste time, money or energy on anything other than permethrin and possible oral ivermectin if the permethrin is causing too many problems, i.e., you've already used too much and it is bothering you. your dog could have mange from canine scabies, which could be biting you but cannot infest you as a human. if this is the problem you should treat your dog appropriately and then see if that clears up your own problem. if not, you could be carrying human scabies.

Cured in San Diego on May 24, 2015:

Just a note to anyone that has waded down to this post amongst all these posts. The board has really become heavy with posts.

Anyway, I just want to say that it's now May of 2015. I did my last treatment way back in November of 2014. And, what happened was this:

At work I had a bump (?) on my arm that itched. I panicked, I smeared about one drop of permethrin on the bump. Of course, it was on my smearing (opposing) hand afterwards as well.

So, ever since then, I have been having itch attacks, in all the places I had scabies months and months ago. no bumps, no scabies, just ghost itching all in the knuckles and fingers. Really, really scary and irritating. And, on my lower scalp too. All the places I had scabies back in 2014.

So, there you have it. This permethrin, use it to cure yourself. But, know that as long as you're applying it, you will still instigate itching for a week later, whether you have gotten rid of scabies or not. So don't expect the itching to go away for at least a two-week window timeframe anytime you touch permethrin in the slightest amount. The stuff is it's own itch-inducer as well. I was just feeling the itching today, thinking, "darn! That permethrin on its own really, really re-activates the whole itching/skin irritation in a strong, lasting way!"

So, take note all you permethrin users; you're using the devil to fight the devil. Keep it in mind with every use of permethrin.

Cured in San Diego

Note: I took three doses of ivermectin, and applied permethrin eight times during my treatment last year. I had scabies from September 2014 to November 2014. I caught them playing chess, and shaking hands after the game(touching common chess pieces -won game, lost health). Did laundry at least 24 times, used 50 trash bags, and home became quarantine area, always rotated/avoided furniture to sit on, eat at every day.

Ruth on May 10, 2015:

I would check with your dermatologist. I was told if you use hydrocortisone too much, it can actually cause the problem to get worse. I had the scabies a year ago and did pretty well this past winter but then with the hot weather and sweating started to itch and break out in little red pimple like bumps on my upper torso. I am convinced the side effects from the Permithrin cream do long term damage on the skin for quite some time. All I use is coconut oil to keep my skin from getting dry and it has kept things under control and stops the itching immediately. Doctor's are all about prescriptions and over the counter drugs and creams so unless you go to a natural or holistic doctor, they will rarely mention coconut oil or essential oils to aid in recovery. I had to research this all myself.

Tired mama on March 28, 2015:

After another negative scraping and dr insisting she didn't think my daughter had scabies , we did 2 more days of Nustock and we went on our vacation. I was very paranoid as my daughter thigh really didn't improve at all in the days prior to leaving and also during the vacation. I just made sure that everyone had long sleeves and socks on at all times. We fortunately slept and bathed in separate quarters than the rest of the household. However the baby was held a lot :/ I did inform our family of what we had been going thru but again I think if you never have experienced this you tend to think its not that big of a deal. I got a bite like bump on my neck during the trip that while the swelling went away I can still see the spot where it was days later. Still feeling the occasional pinprick here and there. The baby didn't have any bumps while on the trip but the day after we got home I saw two on his foot and tonight he had what looks like a mosquito bite on his arm. We were gone for 7 days so if this is human variety scabies it should have died out after 7 days. But if we were never succuessful at removing off us that hardly matters. My daughters thighs finally look better after some prescription strength hydrocortisone applied once two days ago. I've pretty much gone back to normal life in a lot of ways even though i still feel unsure if we have it or not. I hope it is and that we haven't passed it on to even more people recently :/

smittymom4 on March 15, 2015:


I would definitely do the nustock if you are concerned about your daughter--that's not gonna hurt anything. Lotion her up good or put coconut oil on (coconut oil is also an anti-parasitic!) inbetween times to keep her skin healed up/moisturized. I will tell you that we STILL get hives from time to time--and even those can scratch like things--and we have NO other symptoms! I can't explain it-but I know we no longer have it. It is anxiety provoking--but I just put on nustock to feel like I'm doing something. :) It was a year ago at this time that we first realized what we were dealing with. We did all natural stuff til memorial day--then permed because it was almost gone--but still had what I now think was post scabies. My last perm was in November...and I still get those weird hives/scratches from time to time. I'm sorry I can't explain it-but know you're not alone! I don't have any way to tell if you've gotten it again, but I can tell you we've had flare ups and I've treated with nustock and they've gone away. Good luck!!

Tired mama on March 13, 2015:


Well I went a record 18 days with no bumps and then I got a huge itchy welt under my ear a few nights ago. I took a pic of it when it appeared at midnight and then went to sleep, the very next morning 6 hours later it was gone. Looked like completely normal skin. I just so happened to have a dr appt for something else and showed the dr my pic and he said it was hives :/ however there were the bumps on the baby's feet a week ago, and now just last night my daughter woke up at midnight complaining she itched and he inner thigh has a rash with a bunch of tiny pink bumps . I put some calamine on it but I'm very worried as it's been months since she's been itchy at night. I put some Nustock on it this morning and I got her an appt at a new derm tomorrow to do a scraping. Right now she's the only one with itching and bumps but I felt pin pricks and crawling yesterday as well.

And there's a new development as to where we could have picked this up. I found out for sure that we had a patient at my job that had it and some staff were treating for it. I feel 99% sure now that this is where I picked it up and I promptly told my boss I contracted it and also quit my job. How do I know that all my treatments could have been working all along but I just kept picking it right back up from there and bringing it back home with me? I should have quit months ago :(

I'm just super nervous now that we are traveling in 5 days and my daughter thigh looks bad again. I was even considering maybe doing ivermectin for her since she's old enough but I think if we all can't do it( me and baby) then why should I only make her. I'm even desperate enough I thought of using perm again right before we leave but the thought of putting it on my infant for a 4th and 5th time( cause you gotta do it again a week later) makes me ill. I think I'll just wait to see the results of the scraping and go from there. We were going to do another 3 nights of sulfer right before the trip anyways so I'll still plan on doing that. Wish me luck!

smittymom4 on March 12, 2015:

tiredmomma-wait it out!!! Been where you are-gotta let the babies heal. My youngest screamed with Nustock too after her skin got super dry from all the bathing etc. One thing I've found lately is mixing a few drops of lavender oil into coconut oil and mixing it up and putting on the babies skin is SUPER AWESOME!!! Totally heals up dry skin-AND is wonderful for diaper rash if you need it. (My dtr has super sensitive skin and has worked wonders for her). We got random bumps for SEVERAL months-but I did not treat. When I actually feel super itchy or see other signs-like several bumps-I use the nustock mixture again--but for right now we are doing a lot of lotion and coconut oil to make sure we are not mistaking dry skin itchies for scabies itchies. I still get some of those little clear blister bumps on my face from time to time-I'm gonna look up the demodex thing! But I put some tea tree on it and they clear up almost immediately. Good luck!

Cured in San Diego on March 11, 2015:

Liam, I'm kind of in the same boat. I got rid of them around November of 2014. In December I wanted more permethrin and ivermectin, but the docs said 'wait it out. They were right. Anyway, they perscribed to me two perscriptions to reduce the bumps and itches that still haunt me at a far reduced, but still present rate. I never filled the two scripts thinking id had enough. But, now I'm thinking going to the pharmacy and using them. The heightened lingering itching kind of shows a neurological dermis damage. It shows how bad scabies and the treatment really is. So anyway, go back to your doctor and ask him for prescriptions that will calm your skin down. You really do need it.

Hope it helped, Cured in San Diego

Tired mama on March 02, 2015:

JaimeS~ I wonder if what your feeling is nerve/ neurological damage from over use of the perm and iver? When you had scabies did you have a rash? do you ever get any bumps now? I know I have days where I feel crawly and pin pricks and days where I feel fine. I have yet to figure out if it's a perm side effect or if I'm still infested.

As for me,I was feeling really optimistic one had bumps in almost 2 weeks. I even took the chance and had a family member babysit so that my husband and I could go out. Today I see two very tiny bumps the babY's I gotta worry if the family had t and gave back to us or if we infested her cause we weren't reAlly over it?I don't know what to think or If should I start treating with nustock all over again?Do I ride it out see if it's just a fluke? I hate being in this limbo. Where we neither have rashes but also don't feel completely clear either. This week was the most that I have felt like we are in the clear. I stopped changing the sheets daily and I stopped bathing the children. Mainly because their skin was so chapped but I noticed that they look better after a few days of no showers. I have not had any bumps on my face in 12 days and my daughter has had none on her inner thighs and hands ,which were her bad spots. We are going out town in 2 weeks ,just wonderingif I should treat aggressively or back off. It seems that I should just keep treating in the event we still have it but I don't want to keep putting family through it.

JamieS on February 27, 2015:

Hi, I'm having these weird sensations of biting all over my body. It happens during the day and it can be on my hands, legs, you name it I feel it there. When I go look there is nothing there. I treated with p-cream 5x 2 years ago and took Iver pills more than 10x. could I still have scabies? I see with my husband who does not have rashes or feels bites or crawling. He treated in the beginning. Doctors obviously think that there is nothing wrong. These "biting" sensations hurt. Has anyone felt these?

Tired mama on February 24, 2015:

Update: so we were doing the sulfur every other day for almost 2 weeks by had to stop half way into the 2 nd week because the kids skin was so chapped they screamed as soon as the lotion was put on them :( so now we're almost at a week with out treating and eveyone seems to be ok. However last week I got another bite/ bump/ welt looking thing on my forehead and I called the derm to see if I could get in same day and have him look at it before it disappeared. This guy came into the room and said yea that could be a bite take some anithistamines and was about to be walk back out. I said uh no I want you to scrape it, he said No and I said I need to know if these things on my face are it and he very reluctantly did a scrape. Before he left the room to go look at it I asked about the possibility of it being demodex mites that I'm reacting to and he said maybe. Within 5 minutes he came back and said he did not find scabies but he did find one demodex mite but that he wouldnt be concerned unless he found several more in the same spot. But then He told me to start putting permethrin on my face everyday. Say what!? Um

No.So what do you guys think? Do I chalk this up to my being more sensitive to the existing demodex on my face since have scabies? Do you think he was just using my theory about demodex to shut me up and get me to leave? I know this is the last time I will ever go to this doc as I've felt like he hasn't wanted to deal with me and has not once done a scraping of his own accord and I have to insist each time.

Even if I am now sensitive to demodex it still doesn't explain the random bumsp on the children unless that's just post scabies/ perm rashes. This whole thing is so confusing I don't know what to think anymore. We leave in a few weeks to visit family out of state and I want o be treating right now but I have to let my kids skin heAl. if I feel we still have them by the time we go idk what to do. It's easy enough to keep distance from people but the kids are the challenge, everyone is going to want to hold the baby :/ any suggestions on what o can do to keep transmission risk low?

smittymom4 on February 21, 2015:

Yeah Liam--put on lotion--we are having a lot of itchiness sporadically with no bumps and I really think its dryness from being so dry right now. We are lathering regular lotion all over and it's helping tremendously. I still have sulfur lotion and tea tree oil for times we actually see a spot or track (which happens sometimes!) but 99% of the time-it's just dry skin. Hang in there! (someone also mentioned hydrocortisone cream if it's really terrible, but I'd use that sparingly)

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on February 21, 2015:

hi liam,

if you covered yourself thoroughly the best thing to do is wait it out. i know it is hell, but it will pass.

best wishes.

Liam on February 21, 2015:


I did the treatment and used natural stuff also like neem and tea tree oil and I cleaned and bagged everything washed l clothes I felt good after doing all that for a month! But I still sometimes feel irritated and itchy no new bumps at all and im just going crazy I don't know what to do I feel so terrible im scared that it'll come back :( im sure they are gone and its side effects but I can't take it please help?? Am I just going crazy? I just wanna mill myself this is all to much

David on February 15, 2015:

Hello everybody!

Just a quick followup from my post two months ago...

My partner and I are 100% better. No scabies, no Permethrin reaction, nothing. A quick recap: we had itching for months, confirmed our scabies diagnosis with a dermatologist who took skin scrapings and saw mites under the microscope, applied Permethrin twice (one week apart), did NOT apply the Permethrin above the jawline, and were extreme about our cleaning process.

I know people on here are saying to apply the cream above the jawline, but neither I nor my partner did this and we are cured. I would never apply it above the jawline unless a doctor did a skin scraping on my face/scalp and actually saw mites under the microscope from these areas. The reaction to Permethrin on my body was intense: I got lots of bumps, redness, muscle twitching, burning sensations, etc. Of course, I am not a doctor and can't say to do or not do something, but I couldn't imagine putting this toxin on my face without solid evidence that it was necessary.

Hope everyone stays scabies-free! ! !

Much love,


Ruth on February 15, 2015:

Ianjay, I ended up with hives for a good six months after only the two applications seven days apart of the perithrim. I can't even imagine what I would be like if I had repeated the applications. I stopped the sulphur soap because the drying effects of that made my hives worse. I stopped all essentials oils and used coconut oil only and that totally soothed my skin and got rid of my hives. Good luck to you!

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on February 12, 2015:

hi lanjay,

i am sorry to hear about your skin condition, but am extremely curious, how are you distinguishing between effects of scabies and cause of urticaria? are you thinking they are related or separate? are you certain that you had scabies and also that you have gotten rid of it? is your condition improving with time, or getting worse? are you working or living in some condition under which you might be getting reinfested with scabies? it seems odd that you've had symptoms for so long . . . . . .

lanjay on February 12, 2015:


4 months or so since my last post and 2 months since my last doctor's appt. The good news is I have been scabies free for some time now (after a year of infestation, this is enough to keep me happy on a daily basis.. hah), the bad news is I have a skin condition thanks to the whole ordeal.

I have chronic hives, which started last May. I take antihistamines every day to avoid breaking out all over my body. It's extremely hard to find the source of hives and chronic urticaria can apparently come on suddenly and randomly with seemingly no explanation.

My theory - and my doctors agree - is that a combination of over treatment and stress/anxiety brought on the skin condition. If anyone can learn from my mistakes, please do not over treat with permethrin and or ivermectin. Trust your treatment and if you can't, try sulfur soap, tea tree oil and/neem oil. I have an arsenal of all three. Between the shock scabies have on the immune system and the epidermis and the alleged toxicity of the conventional treatment, your skin will need time to recover and you cannot expect it to be overnight.

A HUGE thank you to Samoa for all of your encouragement and dedication to this thread. You really were a saving grace for me.

Best of luck to everyone out there.

Tired mama on February 09, 2015:

Some advice, never put Vaseline in your hair, it won't come out! I had to send my daughter to school with a greasy head and me and my son's heads are covered in cornstarch right now to see if it'll help get it out. We look like white haired ghosts! Lol!

Tired mama on February 08, 2015:

So we started precipitated sulfer in Vaseline tonight.........I can see why this method fell out of favor. I feel like a giant sandy greaseball! However I don't smell that pungent sulfur smell like I did with the nustock ointment. But idk how I'm gonna be able to keep this up every other day, it's super gross but at least it's not toxic so I guess I shouldn't complain. However it was expensive to order the precipatated sulfur and I can now see the amount I made will only last 2 more applications for my family so I need to order more. I let you guys know how it goes. We've been pretty clear but the baby had a few fussy nights and the next morning I noticed bumps on his feet so because of that and our upcoming trip we are treating again. I'm going to force myself to do it for 2 weeks and then reevaluate from there.

Worried sick on February 05, 2015:

Thanks again! I'm still waiting to hear back from the doctor..

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on February 05, 2015:

worried sick - the cream should be enough, but take the pill too if you can get it for peace of mind. the doctor is the only one who knows your family's medical history and can tell you if it is safe. they generally won't prescribe it if you have kidney/liver or certain kinds of other issues. i put the cream on over night, then in the morning washed everything with it still on, including vacuuming out the car. then, once everythign was washed, i showered it off.

Worried sick on February 04, 2015:

Also, am I supposed to wash all the bedding and all the blankets we use in the livingroom while I still have the cream on before I take a shower right? And after I dry them and take them out of the dryer I should do this before showering or after? I'm just so paranoid now and it's hard because I always have several several loads to do

Worried sick on February 04, 2015:

That's what I'm afraid of, the not knowing part. Did you do the pill and the cream? Is it save for my kids to do the pill? Thanks so much for your help

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on February 04, 2015:

worried sick - i would be concerned you didn't get rid of it if you did not treat your scalp, for all the reasons mentioned in the article and comments. there's no way to tell if you are having a post scabies reaction and should wait it out or if you never got rid of it if you didn't treat your scalp, face etc.

Worried sick on February 04, 2015:


My family and I have been battling scabies for around a month. We did our first treatment 3 weeks ago and a second treatment after that 10 or 11 days after that I believe. If I hadn't read online to do a second treatment I wouldn't have known to. My doctor was hesitant on even giving us a refill on the cream. My question is we never did our scalp and face, only the neck down like we were told to do. About 5 days ago I started having sensations on my scalp and it's itchy along with my face now too. I've also noticed 2 spots on my face and a few new spots on my chest. We are a family of four, my husband and I and a ten and four year old. I know we should all do the treatment if we redo it. I cleaned like crazy for two weeks, we even stayed in a hotel for 3 nights, bug bombed the house, had the carpets cleaned, I still wash everything in hot water and dry it very hot and is cleaned my car with the vacuum. I continuously sprayed the rid lice spray everywhere even our shoes. I bagged up all the stuff i Cldnt wash and just took them out this week so was bagged up for almost 3 weeks. I bought the vinyl covers for our beds and pillows. I'm so upset, I thought we were in the clear and now I have the new bumps, itchy and sensations on my scalp. Should we retreat? Hope my dr will let us and I want to ask for the pill too. I'm so sick to my stomach and feel helpless....

Tired mama on February 04, 2015:

How's everyone doing? I hope well. We are ok, ever since I started the tea tree on my face I barely ever get bumps there so I owe smittymom a big thanks for that suggestion! My daughters inner thighs got quite rashy a couple of weeks ago and sulfur wasn't helping so I stopped putting sulfur on it and then it got better, go figure. So I'm thinking it was an eczema flair up, or I'm hoping it was. We are all still dry and itchy, I've been itchy on stomach and lower back lately. Baby still will be fine for a week and then have a random bump on his foot. So yea still not quite sure. we are going to visit family out of state in a month and I'm very concerned that if we're not over this we are going to infest everyone. So I'm still thinking of using sulfur every other day for the next month just in case. I ordered some precipitated sulfur off a website and it supposed to get here by early next week. Hate to keep treating but until I'm sure I see no other choice.

I feel like I'm not as depressed over this as I initally was and I think I get why smittymom said there is life after scabies. In my case I've just gotten used to living this way. I hope I don't have to forever but you just get to a point where life does have to move forward whether you still have them or not. I think also if we do still have them it's mild at best so it's easier to feel that way, I'm sure if it were more severe like it initally was for my daughter it'd be a lot harder. So all I can do is continue on with the washing and Bathing and and non-toxic treatments. I don't think I'll ever touch perm again (it's been 14 weeks now). We haven't done a full body treatment since before Xmas so I would think if we were super infested at this point we'd be miserable but again have been doing the showers with occasional sulfur soap and keeping clothing and linens fresh so that might help bring numbers down. I still haven't been doing the intense cleaning or wiping down surfaces so environment would be pretty infested as well if we still have them.

The upsetting thing is still the social interaction but we've gotten around that by meeting with people in public so it's not so bad but also not great. Helps that all our immediate friends and family know so they don't try to hug us. Sigh, so anyways just checking in and hope everyone else is over this plague.

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on January 30, 2015:

hi mark - just happened to be on the computer when you posted. yes, you very well could have had it for that long with no definitive symptoms. we had it for close to a year, getting the run-around from doctors the whole while. i doubt the hydrogen peroxide is necessary. they are actually fragile little guys and should die along with the permethrin treatment. just make sure you treat your whole body, scalp, face etc. and do it again after one week so any eggs that may have hatched since the first treatment will be killed with the second round. Good luck. Sounds like you're almost through the woods :)

MarkMarkMark123 on January 30, 2015:

Thank you - I cannot believe how prompt you are in your responses - you are amazing.

So, is it possible, that I've had scabies since May 2014 without overly visible symptoms other than intense itching of the feet, ankles, shoulder blades, and wrists?

Could this really be what has been haunting me?

Can I tell you how many nights I have woke up due to itching?

Please tell me this can be the case as I am desperate.

Also, what is your take on washing with hydrogen peroxide (pouring it on affected areas) and the use of cortisone 10?

thanks again.

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on January 30, 2015:

Hi Mark,

I really believe the 5% perm is all you need, twice with one week in between. anything more is probably overdoing it, and it does actually seem to cause an immune reaction that is very similar to the way your body reacts to the mites themselves. So I would lay off the 10% etc. etc. and just go with standard treatment protocol. I think tea tree oil and anti-histamines to calm the itch while the perm. is working is a good idea. anything else is probably just complicating matters.... Also remember you will probably continue to react to the perm even after successful treatment, so don't be tempted to reapply the lotion it only makes the rashes worse.

MarkMarkMark123 on January 30, 2015:

I have been experiencing itchy skin since May 2014. I have seen my primary care physician, dermatologist, hematologist, and TWO more dermatologists - no one could identify that I have been suffering from scabies. I seriously wonder if these physicians judge people by how they appear and dress. How is it possible that all these professionals failed to identify the issue I had with itchy skin.

It was not until a friend suggested I look into scabies; and BOOM - all of the symptoms - particularly the affected areas - aligned with scabies. The only thing - I didn't really start to have visible issues (outside of my feet; and thighs, and wrists); and even then it wasn't that bad.

Well, I went to the dermatologist yesterday and she confirmed I had scabies. She was embarrassed. I took Permethrin Cream 5% last night and washed off in the am... I washed my sheets, towels today and dry cleaned my comforter.

I am so anxious to get rid of these creepy crawlers. In the past 24 hours I've done so much research - I am a) tempted to put tea oil on the most impacted areas; b) tempted to go to a tractor store to buy Permethrin 10% or happy jack cream...

I just want to expedite this process and recover.

Am I doing more harm to my body if I buy those products from tractor or apply tea oil? I confess that I already applied tea oil all over my body and feels good..

I also take anti histamines three times a day...

I am really hoping that scabies has been haunting me since May (as sick as it sounds) just so that I can apply the correct resolution.

Any feedback is appreciated!

thanks :)

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on January 30, 2015:

Hi Emily,

Not sure how to go about treating the newborn. And I don't have experience using sulfur. It may be that the three days is enough. Maybe just stick with what the doctor said and see if it works before worrying about it. I know with permethrin you need to wait for the eggs to hatch and then do it for the second time. And I'm pretty sure nothing, including sulfur, kills eggs. So you might need to re-do the sulfur for a second time after one week. Ask the doctor if that makes sense with regard to getting rid of any eggs that had not yet hatched at the time of the first treatment. Good luck.

Emily on January 30, 2015:

I was misdiagnosed twice wasnt until I had my baby and he got it.

The two dermatologist said it was exema and hormone levels due to the pregnancy. The second time I went I was scraped and nothing was found. My son is 6 weeks and he started getting these red bumps that got wrost and wrost his Pediatrician said it was newborn rash I was not buying it so I took him to the Dermo. and sure enough it was Scabies!!! Turns out I had it too and gave it to my newborn baby which I feel horrible about. I did the first treatment this week and my son was a bit different for him it was a sulfur based creame 3 days in a row and thats it. They do look a alot better for him but my question is if I have to reapply the creame the following week for anything that was left behind and my son doesn't does that mean if new eggs hacth he will get reinfested?

Diana Rocha on January 28, 2015:

I'm so glad I read this post, I just finished my second treatment and I was getting worried it did not work because although the itching has decreased tremendously I still itch at night, Dr prescribed me hydroxyz to help me sleep and not itch and I didn't take it last night and found myself scratching at 2 in the morning, so It got me thinking what if it didn't work? Dr. Told me itching can persist up to 3 months let's hope that's not my issue. thank you again your article sure put me at ease!!!

Hopefully Curred in San Diego on January 25, 2015:

Just three weeks out that stuff is going to happen. The trace stromectol still in your system is your best friend right now. It's not letting them resurge. I was still getting that at the three week mark. It's been about 2.5 months for me, and I'm still getting sporadic itches in the old areas. The dry weather makes some itching come back. I had experienced what you are talking about on my left hand, at about that same time you are at. I kind of panicked and gouged away all the skin on the bump, just physically digging everything out and spot-treating with permethrin. It left scars. I was just so desperate. Even if over them, you will still get occasional bumps rising up. You can't panic, let the healing take its time. If they're dead, they're dead. The eggs to worry about happens six days out of the last kill. You probably aren't contagious now, three weeks out and no spreading of bumps. A bump or two happens, but not spreading and multiplying over the joints. The healing goes on for months. Two things can add to the healing: how bad and extensive they had infested, and, dry weather that dries out the skin.

Use lotion, take shorter, cooler showers, cut down on caffeine, and drink lots of water.

Joe on January 22, 2015:

Hello ive been three weeks since my last scabies treatment ive aplaid pcream over 5 time and two of those times were in between strocmectol however i still getting sometimes large hard red bumps sometimes small and sometime just a red small area oh and some with time get liquid i pop it and it dries up,they pop out some time in some areas spread stay there for days and then dry of some times apear in on area in days dry up and then i have some in another area near it or random is there someone experience in post scabies? Ive clean im not sleeping on my bed i sit on plastic and change the bag everytime i sit use gloves wash and dry sheet clothing towels i have a separed clothing to only use until this proces ends desifect shoes and car is in plastic bags that we put a sheet over it and desifect that car when out. Ive read really well put stuff about post scabies but in every body is different my bumps or redness pop out every two day or so and i know and read even a case that a person lasted with post over a year.Can some one help me? I dont care about the bumps im scared that i infect someone ive allready lost christmas new years and this semester of uni my bday is near and my only present would be not to be wrap up in plastic bags

SDRN on January 19, 2015:


Wow, what a great resource! Found this page since I got infected by a patient in the hospital where I work and doctor wasn't sure if it was scabies or poison oak since I had both taken care of a patient diagnosed with scabies and been exposed to poison oak. What luck! So, glad I found this page though because I was also told not to apply the cream above the neck and also that scabies doesn't go on the face (that I actually read on the internet), the MD was not so sure...

I applied the Permethrin cream last Saturday and got a dose of Ivermectin plus a Rx for Prednisone. I have it on the tops of my hands, tops of my wrists, somehow I think I spread it to my face, earlobes and collarbone. I plan to re-apply in about 7 days the Permethrin, not sure if I should ask for more Ivermectin or not.

I will let you know how my situation plays out. This is the worst! I have lost out on two shifts from work because I look and feel like a leper and feel so uncomfortable. I am going to go to Occupational Health tomorrow and hopefully they will allow me to stay off work until this gets better.

I am even considering whether I want to continue working somewhere where there is frequent exposure to people coming in with scabies. Now I have to treat my husband and child, makes me sad they have to be dragged into this too. :-(

Tired mama on January 18, 2015:

Hope you nipped it in the bud Kimberly!

Sigh , pretty much same old same old over here. I had 10 bump free days then got 2 on my face on Wednesday and haven't had any since so 4 days so far. My daughter has a cluster on her inner thigh which was where she had it really bad when we first got diagnosed. She also was itching her finger last night and I saw two tiny blister type bumps but they are gone today. My baby has had a couple of blisters on his feet, but are gone two days later. I feel an increase in pinpricks, again all over my body but much more on my feet. And my husband who has showed almost no signs at all showed me a bump on his hip today.If I feel particularly crawly on a day ,that night the whole family uses sulfer soap and I've been spot treating bumps on my kids with the diluted Nustock lotion.

So still not sure if we're post or if the bathing , laundering, and the spot treatments with sulfur are just keeping these beasts at bay. I am still debating trying to do another treatment with sulfur but more aggressive this time. I'm thinking of either doing a rotation of 3 days on 4 days off for a whole month, or every other day for 2-4 weeks. This will be tedious and difficult to do especially since my baby still nurse frequently at night not to mention sulfur burns our eyes a lot and its hard to avoid it getting in your eyes. It would be a lot easier to use sulfer more frequently if I only did neck down but I can't leave the head untreated, sigh. Idk I just feel like I need to make one last all out effort. It has been 12 weeks since our last perm treatment, really wish we could go bump free for a couple weeks so I could have more faith in this being post.