Treating scabies in adults is already tough enough. Unfortunately, treating scabies in children is a slightly more arduous affair.
Children’s skin is a little different to adults. The main difference when it comes to scabies is that in children the face and scalp can also be affected (very rare in adults).
So how do you treat it?
Note: I am not a doctor. This is based on my own research and I suggest speaking to your own doctor before commencing treatment.
It’s likely your doctor will prescribe permethrin cream. Some doctors recommend using permethrin on the face and scalp for children and others don’t. It may depend on your child’s own sensitivity to treatment and if they have a history of skin problems.
It’s important to remember permethrin is an insecticide and is not good for your child’s skin. Therefore it’s important to use with caution.
If there is clear evidence of scabies burrows on your child’s scalp and face, you may not have a choice. An examination by a doctor is recommended.
Either way, permethrin will likely be your first line of treatment for scabies in children. I have a very detailed post about using permethrin correctly and safely. I highly recommend reading it before starting treatment.
Ivermectin is an oral treatment and is commonly used in adult scabies treatment. However it is generally unsafe for children to use. Consult your doctor.
If you are treating your child for scabies, I highly recommend supplementing your permethrin treatment with natural treatments. There are many natural treatments that have been researched and tested, and they are all safe for children. Some of the more popular ones are tea tree oil, neem oil, sulfur and clove oil. During my own scabies treatment I combined several of these treatments into a “body mask” and it was extremely effective. If you would like to check out the recipe I used to make this, I have a detailed guide to that here. Everything can be picked up easily and affordably on Amazon or from your local health store.
Natural treatments are not only great for scabies, they are fantastic for healing the skin as well. I highly recommend combining them with your prescription treatments.
Other things to think about
If you are treating your child for scabies, you must treat yourself as well! Scabies is contagious and if you are living in the same home as your child it is very possible you will catch it eventually. It is best to treat all members of the family and kick the infestation from the first go.
You should also keep your child away from any communal and public locations, such as kindergartens, playgrounds and schools, for at least the first 7 days. This should be enough time for you to complete two permethrin treatments as well as several natural treatment applications in between. The last thing you need is your child infecting someone else’s child. Not only will that cause much pain and inconvenience to another family, but it also increases the chance that the mites eventually come back to you.