My experience and treatment

My experience and treatment

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Devastated

Uniontown, PA

#1 Jun 15, 2007
My God -- reading this forum is both enlightening and frightening. I went through as much as I could from the Scabies Is Highly Contagious thread, but I am starting to lose track of the conversations.
Here is my story.
In late February I noticed that my legs were itchy at night. I spent most evenings at my girlfriend's condo, and she started to feel a little itchy, too.
Suspect #1 -- new laundry detergent. She bought something different and my legs were the only thing touching the sheets under the covers. We switched to hypoallergenic detergent.
But it kept spreading. The reaction and itch were worse for me in heat and in sunlight. Showering was intolerable -- my skin would instantly react to the hot water by breaking out in "hives" and making me feel dizzy.
So I went to the doctor when things didn't clear up. Who wants to guess the diagnosis?
Contact dermatitis.
So I asked, "How could both my girlfriend and I come down with dermatitis at the same time?" No answer (she isn't allergic to ANYTHING).
So they treat me aggressively with steroids and tell me to stop using hair gel and other products.
The steroids really do the trick -- no itching at all. Unfortunately the infestation just runs wild without displaying symptoms.
The steroids run out, the itch comes back worse. I *beg* for more steroids. Nights are intolerable and the "dots" as I called them have spread to my genitals, my buttocks, and my inner thighs. It is a nightmare to look at and just terrible to endure.
Devastated

Uniontown, PA

#2 Jun 15, 2007
(continued)

My doctor does a punch biopsy. The diagnosis?
Contact dermatitis.
I then contemplate getting rid of the cats (which I love) and never using soap again. The doctor gives me an injection of steroids and tells me to go see an allergist.
I go see the allergist and tell him my story, but the steroid shot is masking the problem. He asks me to come back the following week and take a battery of allergy tests. When I return the following week and he can see the nightmare that my body has become -- particularly the stomach -- he says, "You have scabies."
I was mortified.
He prescribes Hydroxyzine for the itch and a load of Permethrin for both myself and my girlfriend.
At the same time my girlfriend sees the old doctor they have on campus and he immediately says, "You have scabies." She gets prescribed Lindane.
After reading up on the scabicides we decide to both go with the Permethrin lotion as Lindane seemed more a "second-line" or last resort. I applied with one half of the tube and she used the other.
At first I felt much better, then I starting feeling bad again. I always felt that something was moving on/in my flesh, and at times I felt like pins were pricking into my body. The itch became less intense, but still present.
We both did a second dose of Permethrin at the one week mark. Afterward we still showed signs of having scabies -- "dots" both new and old and itching.
I went back to the allergist. He said I looked much better, but he wanted me to try a few more treatments of Permethrin. My girlfriend decided to do the Lindane last night and today she says she feels completely better.
Tonight will be my third treatment of Permethrin in a month. I am hopeful.
Then I read these forums and people have this for years at a time. I feel like crying.
So far I have spent around $300 on medical bills and treatments. My girlfriend paid a whopping $150 for the Lindane.
Reinfestation is my biggest worry. I look at everything with suspicion, from board games to my computer keyboard.
I wash everything over and over, drying multiple times. I have avoided driving for three days to keep away from my car. I vacuum constantly.
I know my story takes place over the last four months, but I hope to show some readers that it *can* be cured. I am hopeful.
My girlfriend isn't.
regardless, the effects of this ordeal have been devastating. I can't believe that my relationship has endured. We haven't slept together in a month. We've only been dating for five.
Comments? Questions? Advice? Concerns?
Devastated 2

Uniontown, PA

#3 Jun 15, 2007
My doctor does a punch biopsy. The diagnosis?

Contact dermatitis.

I then contemplate getting rid of the cats (which I love) and never using soap again. The doctor gives me an injection of steroids and tells me to go see an allergist.

I go see the allergist and tell him my story, but the steroid shot is masking the problem. He asks me to come back the following week and take a battery of allergy tests. When I return the following week and he can see the nightmare that my body has become -- particularly the stomach -- he says, "You have scabies."

I was mortified.

He prescribes Hydroxyzine for the itch and a load of Permethrin for both myself and my girlfriend.

At the same time my girlfriend sees the old doctor they have on campus and he immediately says, "You have scabies." She gets prescribed Lindane.

After reading up on the scabicides we decide to both go with the Permethrin lotion as Lindane seemed more a "second-line" or last resort. I applied with one half of the tube and she used the other.

At first I felt much better, then I starting feeling bad again. I always felt that something was moving on/in my flesh, and at times I felt like pins were pricking into my body. The itch became less intense, but still present.

We both did a second dose of Permethrin at the one week mark. Afterward we still showed signs of having scabies -- "dots" both new and old and itching.

I went back to the allergist. He said I looked much better, but he wanted me to try a few more treatments of Permethrin. My girlfriend decided to do the Lindane last night and today she says she feels completely better.

Tonight will be my third treatment of Permethrin in a month. I am hopeful.

Then I read these forums and people have this for years at a time. I feel like crying.

So far I have spent around $300 on medical bills and treatments. My girlfriend paid a whopping $150 for the Lindane.

Reinfestation is my biggest worry. I look at everything with suspicion, from board games to my computer keyboard.

I wash everything over and over, drying multiple times. I have avoided driving for three days to keep away from my car. I vacuum constantly.

I know my story takes place over the last four months, but I hope to show some readers that it *can* be cured. I am hopeful.

My girlfriend isn't.

regardless, the effects of this ordeal have been devastating. I can't believe that my relationship has endured. We haven't slept together in a month. We've only been dating for five.

Comments? Questions? Advice? Concerns?

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#4 Jun 15, 2007
Sorry for the multi-posts... I didn't think they were going through.

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#5 Jun 15, 2007
Sorry for the double post. Thought something was wrong, so I tried a different name and posted again.
Been There

United States

#6 Jun 15, 2007
Hi,

You say the Lindane worked for your girlfriend? You went untreated for a long time, giving the mites plenty of time to lay lots of eggs which will hatch at different times. Lindane is supposed to kill eggs, none of the other scabicides kill ova. If I were you, I'd use Lindane.

A treatment schedule of using oral Ivermectin(stomectol) on day 1 and a topical on day 3 and spot treating as needed for at least 4 weeks seems a good way of breaking the mites life cycle.

Even though the cats may be asymtomatic they may be a fomite and harboring mites. Treatment for cats is topical spot-on Revolution bi-monthly for about 8 weeks. then once a month. Isolate the cats away from you during treatment and until everyone is cured.

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#7 Jun 15, 2007
Hi, Been There. Thanks for the info.

Lindane seemed to work almost instantly for her -- she washed it off this morning after having it on all night and says she feels completely itch-free for the first time in months.

I am having trouble finding information about any of this on the Internet. Medical sites say this is easily treatable. I am really hoping I don't turn into a long-term poster on this forum -- unless it is just to help and encourage new posters!

What you say about the life cycle makes sense. I am going to apply Permethrin tonight. My doctor is out until Monday, so I will contact him then to see about Lindane and Ivermectin.

I was thinking about making a Permethrin spray from the remainder of my tube (one application usually takes about 3/4 of a tube for me. 6'4, 200lbs). Any suggestions? Would it be effective for treating my car/couch/carpet?

Also, online info says that the mites can't survive without food for longer than 3-4 days. Wouldn't that mean that avoiding my car for that long would make it "safe?"

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#8 Jun 15, 2007
Also, should I rub the Perm into my hair? Not that I care that much -- I would just as soon chop it all off to get rid of this -- but will it have any effects on my hair?
Been There

United States

#9 Jun 15, 2007
Devastated wrote:
Hi, Been There. Thanks for the info.
Lindane seemed to work almost instantly for her -- she washed it off this morning after having it on all night and says she feels completely itch-free for the first time in months.
I am having trouble finding information about any of this on the Internet. Medical sites say this is easily treatable. I am really hoping I don't turn into a long-term poster on this forum -- unless it is just to help and encourage new posters!
What you say about the life cycle makes sense. I am going to apply Permethrin tonight. My doctor is out until Monday, so I will contact him then to see about Lindane and Ivermectin.
I was thinking about making a Permethrin spray from the remainder of my tube (one application usually takes about 3/4 of a tube for me. 6'4, 200lbs). Any suggestions? Would it be effective for treating my car/couch/carpet?
Also, online info says that the mites can't survive without food for longer than 3-4 days. Wouldn't that mean that avoiding my car for that long would make it "safe?"
I wouldn't delute the permethrin. Tell you MD that Ivermectin is recommended as a first-line treatment for scabies by the CDC. Also tell the doc your still getting NEW bumps and feel crawling.

We are using Twenty Mule Team Borax from the market or drug store on our carpets and floors of car after vaccum. It helps to dry up mites.

Hang in there, more posters will come onboard to help you...
Been There

United States

#10 Jun 15, 2007
Hi again,

Frontline flea and tick spray kills mites, according to my vet. It can be purchased online from large and sm. animal supply stores.

Lysol, alcohol made into a spray.

cover the body ALL over...Head around nose and ears too and scalp to toes with permethrin 5%. under nails too. mites go everywhere. sorry, they don't put enough Permethrin in those tubes for most of us.

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#11 Jun 15, 2007
I've been reading what the CDC says about the mites -- it doesn't seem likely that they can survive in great enough numbers in a car or on other odd surfaces. In fact, it says that only the transmission of an impregnated female can "spread" scabies.

Is reinfestation coming from an outside source, or have we just not managed to kill the eggs in our skin?

I'm just thinking out loud here.

The article says the females can lay eggs every two or three days, and those eggs take between three and eight days to incubate. It takes over four days for them to reach adulthood. This makes it mathematically unlikely for treatment to be effective every seven days as the doctor suggested. There is time for previous eggs to hatch and the larvae to reach adulthood and lay eggs of it's own in that seven days.

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#12 Jun 15, 2007
Been There wrote:
Hi again,
Frontline flea and tick spray kills mites, according to my vet. It can be purchased online from large and sm. animal supply stores.
Any positive results using it? Are you suggesting this for the kitties or to spray on the furniture and in the car?
Been There wrote:
Lysol, alcohol made into a spray.
I'm not sure I follow what you mean here. Lysol will kill the mites?
Been There wrote:
cover the body ALL over...Head around nose and ears too and scalp to toes with permethrin 5%. under nails too. mites go everywhere. sorry, they don't put enough Permethrin in those tubes for most of us.
Maybe I haven't been using enough, then. I only used about 2/3 of a tube during my last treatment and I am 6'4 and 200lbs -- kind of a big guy. I imagine that getting it on my face/scalp will at least take up the remaining bits.

Why do the doctors and Web site make it out like this is so easy to cure?

Thanks, Been There.
Mary

Hollywood, FL

#13 Jun 15, 2007
It helps to cut your hair really short (well, I completely shaved my head - I pulled a Britney Spears. It makes it easier to apply the meds.
Devastated wrote:
Also, should I rub the Perm into my hair? Not that I care that much -- I would just as soon chop it all off to get rid of this -- but will it have any effects on my hair?

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#14 Jun 15, 2007
Mary wrote:
It helps to cut your hair really short (well, I completely shaved my head - I pulled a Britney Spears. It makes it easier to apply the meds.
<quoted text>
Well, it is pretty short, so I guess that is one plus.

Does Lysol kill mites on desks and other surfaces?

Since: Jun 07

Uniontown, PA

#15 Jun 15, 2007
Also, where is the information about which treatments -- Lindane, Permethrin, Ivermectin -- effectively kill eggs? I am searching and searching and I haven't found much. Can anyone share some research?
2ScratchOrNot2Sc ratch

Sanford, NC

#16 Jun 15, 2007
I made a HUGE post with all the handy dandy tips I've found on this website and I guess it got eaten. If I get time, I'll re-post it.

Did your girlfriend have any side effects from the Lindane? Me thinks me wants some.
Been There

United States

#17 Jun 15, 2007
Literature from the link below states that Lindane kills scabies and eggs. It cautions not to use Lindane more than once and to only use it if safer treatments arenít successful. I have not personally used Lindane to treat scabies. I would though if I still had burrows.

http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/lindane...

Some posters say that alcohol and Lysol possibly kills mites on direct contact when used as an environment surface spray. Do not use Lysol on you skin. Mites are soft and fragile, they need moisture to live and dry up easily.

A car sitting in the hot sun may kill any mites inside the car. I'm not sure. Mites are very active and travel around so it's likely they are in the environment and can live a week off the host. Eggs can hatch off a host if they are somehow removed from the skin. But the larvae are weak and will die unless a host is quickly found.

I'd say mites are coming from outside source and are still on you. So, you have to treat hosts and fomites until your done.

Between treatments, shower often. Some stages of mites live on the surface of the skin and can be removed or scrubbed off in the shower. I like to use Peppermint or a citrus liquid soap.
Been There

United States

#18 Jun 15, 2007
The eggs are hard to kill, they are protected in a shell and under your skin. That's why I'd use Lindane if I had egg filled burrows.

I'd at least spot treat burrows with the stuff. It's no party playing host to scabies while their CNS matures enough to be killed by other scabicides and Avermectins.
Been There

United States

#19 Jun 15, 2007
Devastated wrote:
<quoted text>

Why do the doctors and Web site make it out like this is so easy to cure?
Maybe in the old days it was easier to cure.

1. Only Lindane kills the eggs, so the safer treatments may be less effective.

2. Some mites are resistant to Lindane and some mites are resistant to other scabicides.

3. Old school doctors

4. Old literature on the web.

(There are new articles but most have to be purchased. The CDC just added Ivermectin as a first-line treatment in 2006. it's still off label in the US for treatment of scabies though. MD's prescribe off lable drugs all the time, it's perfectly legal..)

5. Treatment failure due to incorrect use of meds.

6. Reinfestation.

Sam

United States

#20 Jun 16, 2007
Why do people keep saying Lindane is the only thing reported to kill eggs? Perm, Benzemul, Eurax, all are reported to kill eggs. Not that I believe it. But Lindane may not either, Fed Up used it several times. Ivermectin is the only thing that reportedly does not kill eggs. I think Lindane has a better anti-itch ingredient in it.

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