difference between permethrin itching...

difference between permethrin itching and mite itching?

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Brooklyn, NY

#1 Jun 28, 2010
hi folks,

quick question. is there a different quality or sensation to itching caused by permethrin use and itching caused by the mites themsleves? i know that even an effective application of permethrin leaves dead mites/feces/eggs in the skin and that, in the 2-3 weeks it takes for the skin to naturally cleanse itself of them, some itching can be expected as a result of an allergic reaction to the material. but is this itching of a level with that of untreated (or improperly treated) scabies? if the permethrin is doing its job should i expect the itching to go down to a more manageable level immediately, or does the itching continue unabated until the vast majority of the detritus is out of the skin entirely?

any help would be so very much appreciated, thank you. after using permethrin cream (and washing my sheets, washing my clothes, etc) i'm finding it difficult to gauge whether or not it worked.




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Brooklyn, NY

#2 Jun 28, 2010
one other question, if i may:

what does it mean if i'm experiencing itching in areas that don't have clearly visible bite marks/burrow marks from the scabies? in other words, is it possible for the skin to itch in a spot, say, four or five inches away from the closest bite, or does that mean that there are also bites or bugs in that area that are simply too small for the naked eye to see? i've gotten a bit obsessed with closely inspecting my arms and legs and removing any little white specks for fear that they might be mites... but of course on this scale (and considering that i wear glasses and don't own a microscope) it's hard to tell whether a given speck is a mite, or a speck of fluff, or a crumb from a cookie, or a fleck of dandruff (god, this makes me sound like an incredibly dirty person. i'm not! i promise!). point is... if i'm itching in areas where i can't see bites, what does that signify?

thanks again in advance for any and all help.

Toukh, Egypt

#3 Jun 28, 2010
I've done lots of this close inspection of the skin, finding nothing there, except sometimes a little speck of skin, and those are all over us all the time anyway. Healthy people are covered in skin flakes all the time, especially if their skin is dry. So through a visual check, I've never found any kind of mite over a two-year period of searching, including such things has running to the bathroom mirror to see what's crawling up my cheek. This fact has been one factor that has slowly convinced me that I may not have scabies after all, or any other kind of mite. Coupled with the fact that none of the prescribed scabies medicines have worked in the past two years (even in massive doses), I'm now putting my money on there not being any mites on me at all. I have been told recently by a dermatologist that scabies mites don't cause a "crawling" sensation anyway; they cause lessions and itching, but not crawling. So if you can't see anything, you might want to keep your mind open to having another kind of condition that causes a combination of crawling/biting sensations, itching and lessions. The same dermatologist who said the "crawling" sensation is not a symptom of scabies suggested it was parasthesia due to some other cause, perhaps some systemic illness that has an affect on the nerves and skin. There is a long list, and so I'm going to have to undergo tests to see what I actually have.(Google parasthesia for possible underlying causes.) Just to explain a little further, I should say that I haven't had any lessions on my body for some time, which means there have been no burrows. I put this down to using topicals and sulphur soap daily. If there are no lessions, then there are no borrows. Which means no chance of eggs or young mites, or any adult mites after a while. So why am I feeling crawling and biting sensations? The only answer must be that I have something else after all, not scabies or any other parasite. If it turns out I don't have a parasitical skin infection, I'll be over the moon. Anyway, I rarely bother to check my skin any more. Good luck!





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Brooklyn, NY

#5 Jun 29, 2010
thanks for your help, span. can anyone else comment on this? i'm still having trouble figuring out whether the itching after permethrin treatment is due to the permethrin itself or whether the little bastards are still crawling around.

Indianola, MS

#6 Jun 30, 2010
I can't say for sure that the crawling sensations are scabies,but I have them as well. I have used Eurax and Permethrin but neither has stopped the crawling feeling on my legs, and especially face and hair. I would be willing to believe that it was something else, except that my partner has exactly the same crawling sensations.
Apparently dr's don't seem to know much about this condition- I've seen 2 and my partner has seen 3 and we get different info from all.
The best advice I got was from this site "If it feels like something is crawling on your skin, then something is probably crawling on your skin."
I feel the crawlingbut don't have red "zit like" marks in all those places.





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Brooklyn, NY

#7 Jul 18, 2010
the reason i'm concerned that it's still scabies and not just post-treatment itching is that it seems to be worse at night, which is consistent with scabies. post-scabies/permethrin itching doesn't get worse at night..... does it...?

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#8 Jul 18, 2010
Not in my opinion. After using perm I get a ddry itch or tiny blisters that itch. When I become reinfested I get that crazy night itch I also notice burrows, Do you have any burrows? From what I have read as long as you don't notice any burrows you may be in post scabies

Karachi, Pakistan

#9 Jul 19, 2010
Hi Jared,
I got rid of the itching only one weeks ago. I applied permethrin 5% on June 28th, the itching got worse and I even got an allergic reaction, though fortunately only in my face (which was full of pruritus and the itching was as bad as the scabies itching, being also worst at night). Since the itching got worse after the treatment (not only in my face) I decided to apply permethrin again after a week (except for the face). This time I had left clothes in plastic bags for one week and after taking the morning shower to rinse off the permethrin, I put some fresh clothes from the plastic bags and left home. I spent three nights in an hotel (I've brought my own bedding which had been kept in sealed plastic bags), in total 4 entire days away from home before coming back. Every day for one week I put only the plastic bag clothes. The itching was becoming less, but was still present. Then, last week only, the itching was completely gone. I sometimes have a crawling sensation (especially when I think about scabies or like now reading this forum), but I guess it is just my imagination. The wounds are almost healed and I can sleep at night. Scabies (and the peremethrin allergy) has been one of the worst experiences in my life. I whish you good luck to get rid of them!

Brooklyn, NY

#10 Jul 19, 2010
THANK YOU to all of you for your help and support, it's deeply appreciated.

i *think* the scabies are gone now (no new burrows, at least not visible to the naked eye) but now i feel like i'm playing a mind game with myself, trying to believe that this continued itching and irritation truly is just post-scabies (a reaction to the permethrin and all the old scabies detritus working their way out of my skin) and not actually signs of a continued infestation. hearing that it's been bad for many of you even once the scabies were gone helps give me faith that just because i'm still itching doesn't inherently mean that the little bastards (excuse my french) are still on my body.

this has most certainly been a genuinely awful experience, and even though i *think* i zapped the scabies, i (like many of you) am not out of the woods yet. let's hope this post-scabies itching, if it really is that, goes away soon.



United States

#11 Jul 20, 2010
I was diagnosed with scabies. So I have completed my permethrin treatments 3 days ago when night time comes I start itching and see small bumps with tiny openings at the top....it looks like something burrowed into my skin. And I see this before I start scratching the area bc I always look bf I scratch. I saw this even the morning after permethrin while I had permethrin on! Is this caused from the permetherin or did I get reinfested?

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#12 Jul 21, 2010
tom wrote:
I was diagnosed with scabies. So I have completed my permethrin treatments 3 days ago when night time comes I start itching and see small bumps with tiny openings at the top....it looks like something burrowed into my skin. And I see this before I start scratching the area bc I always look bf I scratch. I saw this even the morning after permethrin while I had permethrin on! Is this caused from the permetherin or did I get reinfested?
If you are certain that they are a burrow you are still nfested with the scabies. I am having the same problem right now. We have used the perm cream over and over again and get new burrows while the perm cream is on! I guess we have a resistant type of scabies. I am at my wits end I am always in tears from the stress. I have never been so diligent in my cleaning routine. Our house is squeaky clean and the air smells of bleach not a speck of dust can hide from me. It is just too much I want to give up. I used perm 2 night ago the next morning my baby 17 months old had 6 tracks on her legs
t dog

Birmingham, UK

#13 Jul 22, 2010
hey! its not called the 7 year itch for nothing! Here's my experience - i KNOW i dont have scabies anymore, even though it totally fucked up my life for 6 months. But the crap takes a while to come out of ur skin. Like months, not weeks, don't listen to doctors! So you will still itch. But it gets better. I had this huge bleeding thing on my wrist that must have been a burrow that i had killed with the permethrin. It must have been my skin trying to get all the shit out. It took months.

I know i dont have it anymore, it was a 6 month struggle with it, and then a 6 month struggle without it. and now back to normal.

if the military want to torture terrorists etc then perhaps this is something they should give them
Yetta Lii 722

Mogadore, OH

#14 Aug 13, 2010
i have had scabies now for about a week ...it was weird cuz when i went to the hospital to see what the bite was ,i only had around 7 bumps or wateva....after i got the "P"... cream it got way way way worse i thought i was actually forreal goin to give myself a panick attack waking up everyday with these ugly freakin bumps and ewww..it grosses mii out forreallii....i would never wish this on any1 not even mii worst enemy...right now i have alot of bumps but they actually really seem to b getting alot better..thank u jesus....screw saitin and all his evil doings....i am afraid tht maybe after being healed it will leave mii skin messed up....I KNOW A GUY WHO SAID THAT TAKING EGG WHITES NOT THE YOLK THE WHITES...RUB IT ALL ALL OVER YOUR BODY LEAVE IT ON FOR BOUT HOUR AND A HALF...IT FEELS WEIRD BUT IT REALLY STOPPED MY ITCHING ...THE GUY SAID THAT IT DRIES THE BURROW,SCABIE,SCAR OR WHATEVER OUT.I BELIEVE FRM THIS DAY FORWARD I AM GOING TO USE EGG WHITES TO DRY THEM OUT UNTIL THEY ARE GONE....I ALSO USED WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR AND IT BURNS BUT I DO BELIEVE IT IS A POISON TO...ESPECIALLY IF U USE IT AFTER THE EGG WHITE DRIES ON YOUR SKIN..AND RUB THE VINEGAR ALL OVER YOUR BODY JUST LIKE YOU WOULD THE CREAM AND EGG WHITE...LET IT DRY ...AGAIN ABOUT ANOTHER 15 20 MINUTES .but ...THIS ACTUALLY HELPED MII I JUS GOT DONE DOING IT.YOU CAN TELL THE EGG WHITE DRIED THEM UP...you should do this in the week that u arent using the cream until you treat yourself again...i am praying tht this strategy actually works ...so far so good...i have only did it once and i like it...so well see a week frm now.....SCABIES ARE NO LAUGHING MATTER...AND ANY1 OUT THERE WITH THEM I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK AND MAYBE USE MY STRATEGY TO SEE IF IT HELPS U!!GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS ALL ...ALL EXCEPT FO THEM DAMN SCABIES LOL....O YEA AFTER EGG WHITES DRY AND VINEGAR TAKE A HOT HOT SHOWER THE HOTTEST YOU CAN TAKE ....TRUST ME GETTN BURNED BY HOT WATER FEELS AND SOUNDS ALOT BETTER THEN A SCABIE IN YOUR BODY....XXXO

United States

#15 Oct 26, 2010
i wanna know why my itching was only slightly bad and now as i washed the perm cream off my 3 yr old son and myself it got 10x worse??!! and i see a few tiny red bumps on my son that werent there when i put the cream on him. Help! I am a paranoid worried mom
texas mommy

Waterloo, Canada

#16 Oct 26, 2010
Ok I believe my 2 baby's, my hubby and myself r all infected..we've ALL done the perm cream but I still c pimple like dots in like a line that itch ..the itch is not any worse at note and has never kept any of us up..from wat I've read in other posts the scabies itch is always worse at nite which is now perplexing to me..my dr didn't think it was scabies frm the get go but gave us the rx after my kids pedi diagnosed the baby's with scabies..my doc sd he believed my rash looked more like bites and referenced bed bugs..we just moved into an apt and one of the apts down the way had bed begs so everyone's apt was inspected and ours was cleared..so I guess my ? Is, does anyone know what the diff between bed bug bites and scabies is? Oh another thing I've been using sulphur cream and I no longer itch or see any new bites..weird huh!?!
texas mommy

Waterloo, Canada

#17 Oct 26, 2010
Let me clarify my ?...does anyone know how to tell bed bug bites frm scabies rash apart?

Clover, SC

#18 Dec 15, 2010
ughhh! My 13 yr old son started itching in the shower. now i am itching. its been 2 mos and we finally went to the dr. he didnt think it was scabies but prescribed us w/perm anyways...weird... so we got the perm creme and used it last week on saturday. its now wednesday nite and we are both itching and red bumps on our backs and arms and upper legs. it seems like this stuff itches symectrically almost butterfly effect. if one side itches the other side itches too. its not one sided. so is this stuff gonna get better or worse??

New York, NY

#19 Dec 31, 2010
My 18 month old had a horrible itchy rash that kept her awake at night and affected her mood during the daytime. This went on for about 3 months. The doc thought it was eczema and gave her steroid liquid two different times. Also we put steroid cream on her body twice a day. It started getting worse and she was more itchy, almost contstant all day itching and not getting sleep. My husband does have eczema so we thought it was just that. But he was also extremely itchy, especially at nighttime and never had this problem with eczema before. We finally called the doctor every week for three weeks and he had us come in. He looked and said she got an eczema infection and gave her an antibiotic. Four days later, it wasn't better and she was still itching.We went to a dermatologist and he found scabies on her. We treated with permethrin once, the rash was worse after that, but itch was not all day and night but still bad. We treated a week later, and it's been three days. I am so itchy, but rash is going away. I'm itchy even where there is no rash but if I itch enough white bumps, like hives appear. I have a few small pimples on my hand that get scratched open. I am hoping it gets better as the weeks go by. I am definately obsessing over this and it's taking our lives over!

Oak Hill, WV

#20 Dec 31, 2010
You have to treat your environment too. Today makes 3 weeks since my last perm treatment and no new bumps maybe an itch here or their but it was so hard to know the difference I got worse with the itching after my perm treatments I got a few new bumps but to me the bumps didnt itch as intense as scabies it still itched but not as bad. If you dont treat your environment you will get reinfested. The itching will get better you have to give it time though that was the hardest for me. Good Luck I feel for you little 18 month old baby. Poor little thing shouldnt have to go through this. Oh it helped me to keep lotions on hydrcortisone is great it helped my sons skin alot It is important to take real good care of your skin after treatment. I also used grape seed oil which I love makes skin so soft. Theirs so many things on this forum you can do try reading and youll learn alot. Please keep me informed Ill be thinking about the baby


#21 Jan 3, 2011
I have had scabies for nearly 8 months. It started off with only a few scabies.. ive used the peremethin cream easily 20 times now. Cleaned my environment from top to bottom, and i have NEVER seen them this bad. They are 50x worse and i cannot do anything about it. it is soo much worse and i do not know what to do. Drs have only said to apply the cream n make sur eur environment is cleaned.. i have done this and nothing works. please help.

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