Everything You Wanted to Know About Permethrin Cream

Permethrin cream was approved as a medicine for scabies by the WHO in 1973. Permethrin cream is both available as an OTC and prescribed medication for scabies. The cream is also considered as the “first line treatment” for scabies. It is recommended for adults and kids older than 2 months. Permethrin cream is applied from head to the toe. The cream is advised to wear for 8-14 hours; afterwards it is rinsed off taking shower or bath.

What Does Permethrin Cream Include?

The cream contains 5% permethrin as a key ingredient. The other components of the cream are butylatedhydroxytoluene, carbomer 934P, coconut oil, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, isopropyl myristate, lanolin alcohols, light mineral oil, polyoxyethylenecetyl ethers, purified water, and sodium hydroxide. Formaldehyde may be added as a preservative.

How Permethrin Cream Treats Scabies

The cream kills the scabies mites and their eggs as well. It is considered more effective than other medications like lindane. The cream is toxic to the mites. Permethrin is consumed by the mites when it comes into the contact with them. The cream affects the nervous system of the mites, leading to the muscle spasms, paralysis and death.Once the cream is absorbed by the body, it quickly moves across the body.

How to Use Permethrin Cream?

  • First of all, read the directions to use the cream. If you are not sure, you can ask a pharmacist or a physician.
  • The skin should be washed and pat dried before the application.
  • Make sure to apply the cream across the body, from the head to the soles of the feet and everything in between. It should also      cover fingers, underarms and even underneath the nails.
  • Leave the cream for 8-14 hours.
  • Wash off the cream by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear clean clothes.
  • Experiencing itching is quite common after applying the cream.

(NOTE: See your doctor if you experience intense itching, burning sensation or temporary redness on the skin)

Precautions to Keep in Mind for the Usage of Permethrin

  • Avoid using the cream if you are allergic to permethrin cream. Talk to your physician as he or she may suggest you effective alternate. Also, consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions.
  • Avoid using the cream in or around the eyes. Wash off the cream with water if it enters the eyes.
  • Share your medications and other products you are taking or planning to take with your doctor.
  • Consult your doctor if you have pregnant or breast feeding.
  • The cream should be stored in a closed container at room temperature. It should be stored away from moisture, direct light and heat. Avoid storing the cream in refrigerator.
  • And Visit Your Doctor If You Experience Itching, Redness, Trouble In Breathing And Numbness After Using Permethring Cream.


So you must have understood important things about permethrin cream. While the cream is an effective scabies medication, be mindful when it comes to applying the cream. If you have any doubt, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.

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