Permethrin cream is one of the most effective treatments at killing scabies. In the post below I will be detailing how to use Permethrin cream properly. If you want to know where and how you can get Permethrin Cream for your scabies treatment, you can read my guide by clicking here.
If you browse through the internet, you’re going to find a lot of people saying Permethrin doesn’t work.
After talking with my doctor, dermatologist and even using Permethrin myself a few times, I figured out why it doesn’t work for a lot of people: Because most people don’t know how to use Permethrin cream properly.
The first time I used Permethrin it was effective and my scabies itch went away…for a few days. Then it came back. I went back to the doctor and showed him and he gave me a second tube of Permethrin cream, only this time I did my own research. I found out that my doctor had actually given me the wrong directions.
So the second time around, I did as much research as possible and applied it again properly (I’ll talk about this below). It worked. And I can’t be 1,000% sure that it was only the Permethrin that killed my scabies, as I combined it with several other treatments, but what I do know is that this collection of treatments cured me, and I believe Permethrin did 80% of the work.
How to use Permethrin cream correctly:
1. Start from the chin
You are not supposed to use Permethrin on your scalp or your face. Remember – Permethrin is an insecticide poison and is not actually good for you! So be careful when using it. The correct method is to apply it from the chin down only. The exception is the ears – make sure you cover on and behind the ears.
2. Get it everywhere!
You need to apply it everywhere on your body, because scabies mites can live anywhere!
Some common places people miss are:
- Under the armpits.
- In the bellybutton.
- Between the butt cheeks (yes, they can live there too).
- The soles of the feet.
- The groin area and genitals.
- In between the fingers and toes (favourite hiding spot for scabies. Hit these areas hard!)
3. Make sure you get it under the nails (very important!)
Why is it so important to get the cream under your fingernails? Because this is one of the most common places scabies are found.
Scabies causes you to scratch wherever scabies are burrowing. Naturally, mites get caught under your fingernails and that’s how they spread easily to other parts of the body. In your sleep it’s probably quite common to scratch yourself with your toenails too.
Therefore, make sure you get Permethrin under your nails. The easiest way to do this is to put some Permethrin cream in your palm and then scratch your palm lightly so it gets deep under the nail. Do this for both hands and both feet. Super important!
4. Don’t forget your back
A lot of people miss the back as it’s quite hard to apply the cream there, but scabies is very common on the back so it’s important to cover it fully. It helps to have someone rub on your back for you so you don’t miss any spots (make sure they use a glove so the scabies don’t spread to them).
5. Leave the cream on for 8-12 hours
The cream needs at least 8 hours to work. The best plan is to apply it before you go to bed, throw on some cottons and then wash it off in the shower the following morning.
Some people leave it on for 24 hours thinking it will be more effective, but this is not true. What will happen if you leave permethrin cream on too long? Well, because permethrin is an insecticide, and toxic, it will actually damage your skin and slow the healing process. Don’t leave permethrin cream on for too long, definitely not more than 12 hours. The scabies will be dead long before then.
6. DON’T WASH YOUR HANDS!
This is a really common mistake and probably the main reason Permethrin treatment doesn’t work for many people.
If you wash your hands after applying the cream, you’ll be washing all the treatment out from your fingernails and between your fingers. Obviously this means the treatment will not work! This is something doctors don’t seem to explain too well when telling patients how to use Permethrin cream properly.
If you do accidentally wash your hands (it happens), make sure you apply the cream on your hands again thoroughly. Once the cream is on, you shouldn’t be washing your hands for at least 8 hours.
7. Do a second application after 7 days
While some doctors will tell you to only apply Permethrin once, it is much more effective to apply it twice or more. This was one new thing I found out when researching online about how to use Permethrin cream.
The second application should be done 7 days after the first. This allows for any new mites to hatch, as scabies are much harder to kill when still in their protective eggs.
Some people actually prefer to do it sooner, even every day, so a common question is whether it is bad to use permetherin two days in a row. The answer is yes.
Again, remember permethrin is a poison. In fact, if you ingest a large amount of it, it can be lethal. When we apply permethrin to our skin, what we are doing is applying just enough poison to our skin that it will kill little scabies mites, but won’t kill us. Of course, that doesn’t mean it is not damaging to the skin. Applying anything toxic to the skin is bad for us. Therefore it’s best to wait at least 5-7 days before the second application, and in the meantime, support your skin with a good moisturizer and things like aloe vera. I used this aloe vera gel daily and still do today. Your skin is an important organ, make sure your protect it!
After your second application of permethrin, all scabies mites on your skin should now be dead. Congratulations!
While permethrin treatment is sufficient for most people, some people still seem to fail to eliminate scabies with permethrin alone. This is why I recommend using a combination of treatments in conjunction with Permertherin to maximize your chances of curing scabies.
I spent many hours reading studies while I had scabies to determine what the optimal treatment would be. After trialing lots of different things, I finally came up with a treatment plan that was both safe and effective, and based on actual science and proven research. I’ve written up the entire treatment plan in my article How To Get Rid Of Scabies: The Ultimate Guide, which details each treatment, the studies behind it, and how to use it. If you are suffering from scabies, I really believe it will help you and encourage you to check it out. You can click here to go there now.
Wishing you back to good health soon!
Remember, if you cannot get permethrin cream from your doctor, you can make it very affordably with standard permethrin from Amazon. This is a great option if you need to treat your whole family. I have a full guide on how to buy and mix your own permethrin here.