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 will actually damage your skin and slow the healing process. Don’t leave it on for 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.
After your second application, all scabies mites on your skin should now be dead! I do recommend using other treatments in conjunction with Permertherin to maximise your chances of curing scabies. You can read more about those additional treatments in my Scabies Treatment Guide by clicking here.