Interventions for treating scabies

Added April 10, 2013

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On the basis of the available evidence from randomized controlled trials, topical permethrin appears to be the most effective treatment for scabies. Ivermectin appears to be an effective oral treatment, but in many countries it is not licensed for this indication.

Scabies is an intensely itchy parasitic infection of the skin caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. The female mite burrows into the skin to lay eggs, which then hatch out and multiply. The infection can spread from person to person via direct skin contact, including sexual contact. Scabies occurs throughout the world, but it is particularly problematic in areas of poor sanitation, overcrowding, and social disruption, and is endemic in many resource-poor countries. Various drugs have been developed to treat scabies, and herbal and traditional medicines are also used. This review evaluates topical and systemic drugs for treating scabies.