Ivermectin, also known as Stremectol is an effective medicine to treat skin infection caused by tiny itch mites called scabies. It is an oral medicine that’s prescribed to the infested person when other available medicines, usually topical treatments, don’t show any positive result on an individual. Not just regular scabies, but this medicine can also be used to treat crusted or Norwegian scabies, which is a severe form of scabies. Besides scabies, Ivermectin can also be used to treat parasitic worm infections such as onchocerciasis and strongyloidiasis.
Scabies is awful skin condition that is caused by infestation with itch mites, Sarcoptes scabiei. The infection is highly contagious and spreads by direct skin-to-skin contact from infested person to others. It can infest anyone from children to adults in any climatic condition. A female itch mite had life expectancy of about 30 days, and digs burrows into the epidermis to lay eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae in mere three to four days, and further these larvae mature into adults in 14 to 17 days. If not taken proper care on time these itch mites may spread rapidly, leading to extreme itching and then it would be more difficult to remove all mites at one or two sessions.
Other signs of scabies may include small sores with mite burrows, or small and clear fluid-filled spots start appearing on the skin. Usually these signs occur only in severe cases of scabies.
Most common symptoms of scabies infestation are few rashes and intense itching that becomes even worse at night. At night time, the itch mites are most active and that leads to skin irritation and sensation causing extreme itching. The symptoms may take few days to weeks for appearing with some linear burrows under your skin.
Common areas on your body where scabies outbreaks can occur are web spaces between fingers, inner surfaces of your wrists, waistband, gluteal crease and other areas. Usually scabies is not found on face and scalp, except in infants.
Once these symptoms start appearing you must immediately see a doctor. A doctor can easily recognize the skin condition just by looking at your skin or by undergoing few microscopic tests to find out burrows underneath the layer of epidermis. This way scabies can be easily diagnosed and next step will be the treatment of this itchy skin condition.
The most common treatment for scabies is topical application of certain anti-scabies creams and lotions. Generally, permethrin (5-percent) cream is prescribed to treat scabies. However, for a person who is allergic to permethrin another medicine called benzyl benzoate (25-percent lotion) is prescribed. But benzyl benzoate causes more irritation on the skin as compared to permethrin cream.
In case both these creams and lotions don’t work, then oral medicine Ivermectin (Stromectol) is prescribed to the patient. A single dose of Ivermectin is able to completely eradicate all active scabies mites from your body.
Ivermectin works by affecting nervous system of itchy parasites. As a result, it causes muscle paralysis and eventually death of the parasite. However, Ivermectin has no effect on the nervous system of humans. Therefore, considered safe for human consumption. But the medicine is not prescribed to pregnant or nursing women, as well as children weighing less than 15kg.
How effective is Ivermectin?
Ivermectin can kill all scabies mites with a single dose, but it has no effect on unhatched mite eggs. Therefore, two doses may be required if unhatched eggs remain on the body. That’s why second dose must be taken one week after the first dose. This will help you to completely get rid of the annoying scabies mites.