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Scabies is cured with pills or medicated creams that kill mites and eggs. You need a prescription from a doctor for scabies treatment.

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What is the treatment for scabies?

Scabies is treated with prescription medicine called “scabicide.” Scabicide kills scabies mites and eggs. It usually comes in the form of a cream or lotion. You rub the scabies cream on your body from your neck down to your toes, and then wash it off after several hours.

Sometimes your nurse or doctor may prescribe a pill for you to take instead. Make sure to carefully follow your nurse or doctor’s directions and the directions on the package.

What do I need to do to get rid of scabies?

Along with using medicine, wash or dry clean all of your bedding and towels. Also wash or dry clean any clothing that you’ve worn since you got scabies. Wash these fabrics on the hottest setting, and dry them on the hot cycle for at least 20 minutes.

You can put things you can’t wash that may be infected in a sealed bag for at least 3 days, until the scabies mites and their eggs die out. It’s also a good idea to vacuum carpets and furniture where infected people hung out (and make sure to throw away the vacuum bag after). You don’t need to call an exterminator or fumigate your home.

Tell your sexual partners and anyone else you were in close contact with when you had scabies. They should all get treated at the same time as you so you don’t re-infect each other. And don’t have sex or any other kind of intimate contact until you finish your treatment. 

It’s normal to still be itching 2-3 weeks after your treatment, even if it worked and cured your scabies. If the itching lasts longer than that, or if you notice new rashes or burrow lines, you may need to do the treatment again.

How long does it take to get rid of scabies?

Usually your scabies will be gone as soon as you’re done with the treatment. Depending on how serious your scabies outbreak is, you may need to treat it again, and you’ll also need to repeat your treatment if new burrows and/or a rash appear.

It’s normal to still be itching up to 2-3 weeks after your treatment, even if it worked and cured your scabies. If the itching lasts longer than that, or if you notice new rashes or burrow lines, contact your nurse or doctor.

Are there home remedies for scabies?

No. You need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get medicine to cure your scabies. Some home remedies and over-the-counter products can help with itching and discomfort, but they won’t kill the mites or get rid of your scabies infection.

More questions from patients:

How can I make sure my scabies infection doesn't come back?

You can make sure your scabies infection doesn’t come back by doing the following: 

  • Take ALL of the medicine prescribed by your nurse or doctor. Make sure you leave the medicine on your body for the full amount of time and follow their directions for any second doses.

  • Wash or dry clean all of your bedding, towels, and all clothing you wore for the 3 days before your treatment. Wash them on the hottest setting, and dry them on the hot cycle for at least 20 minutes. You can put things you can’t wash that may be infected in a sealed bag for at least 3 days to a week, so the scabies mites and their eggs will die out.

  • Vacuum carpets and furniture where infected people hung out (and throw away the vacuum bag after). You don’t need to call an exterminator or fumigate your home.

  • Tell your sexual partners and anyone else you were in close contact with when you had scabies. They should all get treated at the same time as you so you don’t re-infect each other. And don’t have sex or any other kind of intimate contact until you finish your treatment.

Learn more about how to prevent scabies.

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