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Scabies Treatment

George Woodbury MD 5/3/2023

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Sudden onset of severe itching by children or adults can be provoked by many diagnoses, but high on the list is a type of mite infection – called Scabies - so let’s take a look at what Scabies is, my perspective being that of a Board-certified Memphis Dermatologist for over 30 years, with Rheumatology and Dermatology, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018 (1-901-753-0168).


First, Scabies is one of the most difficult diagnoses to pin down in Dermatology, because it often starts with just one or several bumps on the arms, legs, groin, or trunk, with moderate or severe itching. It can appear much the same as a reaction to a mediation or drug, or similar to Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema), or even a Contact Dermatitis. Sometimes Dermatologists take a scraping for a examination called an Ectoparasites test, the results of which can show features suggestive of or else conclusively diagnostic of Scabies, a test that generally takes fifteen or so minutes. Sometimes Dermatologists do what’s called a Skin Biopsy, a test that involves a local lidocaine shot and sometimes several stitches, to try to pin down the correct diagnosis. The results of a biopsy test can take three to seven workdays or more.


If the appearance of very itchy bumps is characteristic of Scabies, then this condition is usually acquired from contact with another person with whom the patient has had intimate contact: coworkers, wrestling partners, fellow athletes, siblings, dormitory co-residents, fellow prison inmates, usually from direct skin to skin contact. It is common for sexual partners to pass Scabies between each other. Scabies could accordingly in certain cases be considered a type of STD or Sexually Transmitted Disease, because it commonly passes back and forth between intimate partners. Sometimes the person spreading the Scabies does not have a full-blown rash, but that person may have just several small bumps, making that personal into a “carrier” of the Scabies, because they have no clinical signs of Scabies when they come into the relationship.

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Most patients get diagnosed with Scabies based upon the Dermatologist’s suspicion of Scabies, because more often than not, we do not have conclusive proof that that is the correct diagnosis. We often consider several treatment options:

  * An oral medication called Ivermectin because available in the early 2010’s, often taken as several tablets once a week or several weeks in a row

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* Traditional treatment for Scabies involve a topical medication called Kwell® (lindane), but lindane is highly toxic if consumed by mouth. Accordingly, a topical cream called Elimite® (permethrin) is often used as an alternative, though resistance by Scabies mites to permethrin is a rising problem. Other options include topical benzyl benzoate, topical precipitated sulfur, Eurax Lotion (Crotamiton),  and Spinosad®.


* Repeat applications of the prescribed cream or lotion are often necessary to remove all of the mites and their eggs. Dermatologists often also advise doing all the patient’s laundry that first night of treatment, and to spray the couches and mattresses with Lysol®.


After 25 years of practicing dermatology, in 2016 I decided to establish a skincare products company  - Big River Silk Skincare™ Inc. – of which I am the President -  to manufacture and distribute organic skincare products - gentle organic moisturizer (HypoShea Moisturizer Cream), antiwrinkle cream (GlycoShea Cream), and deep acne cleanser (AmberSoy Soap Gel).


HypoShea Moisturizer Cream is a blend of Refined Shea Butter with some of the purest natural water in the country particular, particularly useful for people prone to chapped lips, for people with lip blisters and lips sores. HypoShea notable for being dye free moisturizer, a fragrance free moisturizer that’s also propylene glycol free, sulfate free, parabens free, and formaldehyde free, having been used by my patients in Tennessee and Arkansas for years, now also available nationally: (1-901-753-0168).


So if you or a family member or a family member or partner are seeking possible Herpes Evaluation or Herpes Treatment, or Herpes Simplex Treatment, consider getting a checkup from a Board-certified Dermatologist.  My own Memphis Dermatology practice since 1993 has been with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, as a Cordova Dermatologist, in Tennessee ( or (1-901-753-0168). Or you can find a Dermatologist in your own neighborhood by going to the American Academy of Dermatology web site,, then plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab.

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George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (03/31/2023)

Memphis Dermatologist George Woodbury M.D. on options for diagnosis of and treatment of Scabies, a mite infection or infestation that generally causes severe itching and rash and which is often treated with Ivermectin tablets and Permethrin cream. 1-901-753-0168 (05/03/2023)

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