What is Permethrin cream?
Permethrin cream is a treatment for the scabies infestation that can clear an infestation as quickly as just 8 hours. After just one treatment, you could be free from scabies and ready to get back to your normal routine. It can be used by people of all ages and treats the entire body with each application.
How will Permethrin cream help to treat my scabies?
The active ingredient Permethrin is part of a group of insecticides known as pyrethroids. This means that Permethrin works by affecting any insect it comes into contact with, paralysing and killing scabies. Although Permethrin is toxic to insects, it’s much less toxic to people, as our bodies can break down the substance much more quickly. This makes this cream the perfect way to treat infestations such as scabies.
What is scabies?
Scabies is a common condition which happens when you come into contact with tiny mites, which make their home on your skin and begin to lay eggs. When you have scabies, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Burrow marks - short silvery lines on the skin with a dot at the end
- Rash, which can spread over the entire body
- Blisters or pustules in infants
Can I use this product if I’m taking other medication?
If you’re taking other medication, including those obtained without a prescription, you should speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist before using this product. You should not use corticosteroids or steroids to treat skin conditions such as eczema while using Permethrin to treat an infestation, as steroids can interfere with your body’s natural defence to scabies, and can make your infestation worse.
Can I use this cream if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
You should speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist before using Permethrin or any other medication while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This product may not be safe for you or your baby at this time, for example, this cream needs to be applied to the breasts, which may be unsuitable for breastfeeding mothers. Your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist may wish to recommend another, more suitable treatment for you at this time.
How many times will I need to use this cream to treat my scabies?
You will usually only need to use Permethrin cream once to treat an infestation. If you’re not sure whether your scabies or other infestation has cleared after using this product, speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist for advice.
How to use Permethrin
Apply to clean, dry, cool skin. Do not take a hot shower or bath before using this treatment. Rub the cream directly into the skin until you cannot see it any more, making sure to pay attention to areas such as between the fingers and toes, under the nails, wrists, armpits, external genitalia, breasts, and buttocks. Be sure to use enough cream to cover the entire body, as in the following guidelines:
- Adults and children over the age of 12: One 30g tube of cream should be enough to cover the whole body, but do not apply to the head and face. In some cases, a further tube may be needed for full-body coverage, but you should never use more than 2 tubes at a time.
- Elderly (over 65 years old): Apply the same amount of cream used for adults, but be sure to cover the neck, face, ears, and scalp as well. Avoid the area around the eyes.
- Children aged 6 - 12: Half a tube of cream (15g) should be enough to cover the whole body, but do not apply to the head and face.
- Children aged 2 - 5: A quarter of a tube of cream (7.5g) should be enough to cover the whole body, but do not apply to the face and head.
- Children aged 1 - 2: A quarter of a tube of cream (7.5g) should be enough to cover the whole body, but be sure to cover the neck, face, ears, and scalp as well. Avoid the area around the eyes and mouth as the cream could be licked off.
- Children aged 2 months - 1 year: Up to an eighth of a tube (3.75g) should be enough to cover the whole body, but be sure to cover the neck, face, ears, and scalp as well. Avoid the area around the eyes and mouth as the cream could be licked off.
Leave the cream in place for at least 8 hours. Wash off with soap and water within 12 hours of application. If you wash your hands within 8 hours of using this cream, be sure to re-apply Permethrin to the hands.
When should this product not be used?
Permethrin cream is not suitable for use by children under the age of 2 months. Do not use this product on children aged 2 months - 2 years unless specifically advised to do so by your doctor. Do not use this product if you are allergic to Permethrin or any of the other listed ingredients. Speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist before using this product if you are allergic to chrysanthemums or other plants in the compositae (daisy) family. This product is flammable, so be sure to keep any dressings, clothing, bedding, or other fabric this cream comes into contact with away from naked flames or other sources of ignition. Stay away from a fire while using this product. For external use only, avoid contact with eyes, do not swallow. Do not use on broken skin.
Does this cream have any side effects?
Like all medications, Permethrin can have side effects, although not everyone will experience them. This includes:
- Sensations on the skin, e.g. tingling, pricking, or burning sensations
- Continued or increased irritation which may last for a short while, e.g. redness or swelling of the skin, rash, itching
- Itching that is similar to that experienced when you had scabies. This may continue for up to 4 weeks after treatment. This is completely normal and is caused by an allergic reaction to the dead scabies mites. This side effect does not mean that your treatment has failed
If you experience these or any other side effects while using this product, speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist right away. For more information about reporting the side effects of medication, please see the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme.
How to store this product
Store in a cool, dry place which is below 25 degrees C. Do not freeze. Do not use if the expiry date printed on the original tube and carton has passed. Keep out of sight and reach of children.
This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk
If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.
Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.
Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.
Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.
Helpful Advice on Medication Restrictions & Addiction
For further information on our medication restrictions policy, please click here.
If you are concerned about addiction to 'over the counter' medication, we urge you to visit the below links for professional help and advice:
The active ingredient is Permethrin (5% w/w).
The other ingredients are: cetylstearyl alcohol, white soft paraffin, macrogol cetostearyl ether, isopropylmyristate, benzyl alcohol and purified water.
What is Scabies and What Are Its Symptoms?
If you notice little silver burrows or red patches on your skin, then you could be dealing with something a little creepier than your average rash.
Scabies is a common and easily treatable condition that can happen to anyone, so let’s take a look at it in detail and see if these little mites are keeping you up at night.
I'm currently on my second dose awaiting to apply on Saturday however my skin is not improving can I apply this cream before the 7 day period?
If necessary, a second application can be done 7 days after the first application. If after 14 days the infestation is active, it is best to switch to another active product.
Can I use Permethrin for Molluscum ?
The main symptom of molluscum contagiosum is small, firm spots that have a dimple in the middle. They can be itchy.
This is best treated with Molludab
Is it safe to use in the first trimester of pregnancy?
Studies that included small numbers of women using permethrin in early pregnancy do not suggest that this increases the chance of having a baby with a birth defect. However, further research is required to confirm this.
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