Premethrin cream is a topical medication which is commonly used to treat scabies or head lice. Scabies is an infestation of mites that dig under the skin and cause a skin infection. Lice are infestations on the head and in hair. Scabies and lice are contagious as well and can be transmitted to someone else who touches the skin, head or hair of an infected person. With scabies, an itching rash along with blisters on the skin is the result of the mite digging into the skin. A Scabies infestation can look like atopic eczema, poison oak and is extremely itchy. A case of head lice is also treated Permethrin cream. However, only a 1% concentration of permethrin is needed for headlice, whereas scabies needs a 5% concentration of the insecticide.
Permethrin cream really is actually an insecticide so people can be uncomfortable with using it and may want to find a natural way to treat scabies or head lice. However, all it takes is a single application of Permethrin cream to cure most cases of scabies or lice. One application of permethrin cream can greatly reduced most of the itching within 24 hours. Norwegian scabies is a rare form of scabies that some people can get too. More than one application of the cream may be needed to treat it. The patient may also have to use lindane or other scabies medications to cure a case of Norwegian scabies.
The most common way to treat scabies is to use Elimite, which is a 5% concentration of permethrin cream. The cream is applied from the neck to the bottom of the feet and left on for eight to fourteen hours. This is usually done at night before the person goes to bed and then the cream is washed off in the morning. Care must be taken to apply the cream in the palms of the hands as well as under the fingernails and soles of the feet. Some itchy may still occur for a few weeks but it will not be as bad as it was before treatment. The body will be ridding itself of the scabies mites, eggs and waste material. A second application may be recommended one week later.
It is recommended that family members also use Permethrin cream when one member has scabies or lice since it is so contagious. All bedding and clothing should be washed in very hot water to prevent re-infestation of the mites. Elimite permethrin cream will reduce mite infestation in most people. However, patients in nursing homes or those who have HIV may not respond to this treatment as well since they tend to get the more rare form of Norwegian scabies that causes crusting on the skin. Permethrin can cause neurotoxic reactions when used by immuno-comprised patients. People who have extreme scabies infestation can also be given oral permethrin to be used as well.
People who take certain other medications should consult with their doctor before using Permethrin cream as it can interact with certain medications. Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or who are breast feeding should not use Permethrin cream. The cream is instantly absorbed by the skin and a small amount of medication can enter the blood stream. Some neurological disorders have been associated with using such an insecticide on the skin. Some of the side effects include temporary redness of the skin and some people may experience a burning or stinging of the skin when the cream is used. The side effects are usually only temporary though. If side effects continue you should consult with your doctor.
1% Permethrin cream can be bought over the counter without prescription to treat head lice. The number one product for head lice treatment is Nix. Nix is not sold as a treatment for scabies. Eliminte is the 5% Permethrin cream for scabies and can only be bought with a prescription in America.