Scabies are the common name for sarcoptes scabiei, a mite that burrows into the skin of humans causing intense itching and lesions. Scabies are easily passed between people and do not indicate a lack of good hygiene, contrary to popular belief. In adults, scabies usually infect areas such as the hands, wrist, feet, armpit, genitals and groin but rarely the face and scalp. Scabies in the hair and scalp are, however, relatively common in children and babies. The treatment for scabies in the hair is basically the same as scabies elsewhere on the body. If you suspect your child has scabies, consult his or her physician because you’ll need a prescription medication specifically for dealing with scabies.
Consult a doctor for a correct diagnosis. Scabies often attack more than one person in a household because they are easily passed on through interpersonal contact. If several people in the house are experiencing the same symptoms (itchiness, lesions on the skin, etc), scabies is a likely culprit. Lice usually only affects the hair while scabies will show up in different parts of body. Your doctor will be able to give an accurate diagnosis.
Purchase whatever medication the doctor prescribes and use it promptly. Follow the doctor’s instructions carefully. Even if only one person in a household is affected by scabies, every family member should follow the same treatment to eliminate the chances of future infestations. For scabies in the hair, the doctor may recommend a shampoo as opposed to a lotion, though this depends on the thickness of the hair, age of patient, etc. Lindane, crotamiton, pyrethrin and permethrin are all common ingredients in scabies products.
Use antihistamines to reduce itching. Be sure to follow dosing recommendations and age restrictions closely.
Wash all pillows, clothes, stuffed animals, and anything else that has come into contact with the patient or close friends and family. This is crucial to avoiding another scabies outbreak. Scabies only live for a few days away from a host body, but washing will ensure they don’t spread.
Make sure to apply lotion and shampoo a week after the initial treatment to kill the remaining eggs.
A good diet rich in vitamins will boost your immune system and help ease some of the symptoms of scabies.
Do not apply adult strength scabies lotions to infants. Check with your doctor before treating a baby for scabies.