Scabies: Using Medicines

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

To successfully treat scabies, all members of an affected household must be treated at the same time. Follow these instructions when using medicine to treat scabies:

  • Take a lukewarm (not hot) bath or shower. Dry off well with a towel. Do not share this towel with others.
  • Apply the medicine according to your doctor's directions. In most cases, the medicine is a cream or lotion that is applied in a thin, even layer over the whole body from the neck down.
  • Look for special instructions for infants and children. Be sure to read and follow all instructions that come with the medicine.
  • Trim fingernails and toenails short. Brush the medicine thoroughly under the fingernails.
  • Leave the medicine on for as long as your doctor recommends.
  • Wash the medicine off with lukewarm, soapy water, and dry the skin.
  • Put on clean clothing, and change your bed linens. Wash all clothes, bedding, and towels used in the 3 days before you or your child started treatment. Use hot water, and use the hot cycle in a dryer. Another option is to dry-clean these items. Or seal them in a plastic bag for 3 to 7 days.

Do not apply the scabies medicine more often than is recommended by your doctor.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015

Current as of: February 20, 2015