Scabies treatment available today

In order to treat your scabies symptoms, consult with one of our board certified doctors online today to prescribe the right antiparasitic medication for you. Get a new prescription to treat scabies or refill an existing prescription today.*

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Effective Scabies Medication, Prescribed Online

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*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of scabies. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about scabies

Scabies refers to a skin condition that occurs when microscopic mites burrow under the skin. It causes rashes to appear where the mites burrowed. One of the main symptoms of scabies is itching that becomes more severe at night.

A scabies outbreak begins when a female mite burrows under the skin. Male mites will then look between different burrow sites to mate. The male mite will die after mating and the female will lay eggs that hatch about three to four days afterwards.

The mites that hatch will move to the surface of the skin and mature into adult mites after 10 to 15 days. Male mites will remain on the surface of the skin, but female mites will burrow underneath the skin again, creating a new burrow. This cycle will continue until the infestation is eliminated.

Because scabies mites do not respond to soap or hot water and cannot be scrubbed or washed out of the skin, this cycle will continue until the appropriate medication is taken.

Scabies causes

  • Scabies is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, a parasite that burrows into the skin. The resulting skin condition is thought to be due to the body's immune response reacting to the scabies mites along with their saliva, droppings, and eggs.

    Scabies is highly contagious, and therefore can easily be caught from skin to skin contact with an infected individual

Scabies symptoms

  • Symptoms of scabies are often delayed several weeks after an infestation. In some cases, it can take up to 6 weeks for symptoms to set in. This is because this is how long it can take for the body's immune system to react to mite droppings. However, if you've previously had a scabies infection, symptoms can start within 1 to 2 days. This is because your immune system has responded to a scabies infection before.

    When scabies symptoms do set in, they typically consist of:

    • Intense itching, that usually worsens at night

    • A pimple-like rash

    • Blistering and scaly skin

    • Sores caused by scratching

    • Thin, raised burrow tracks on the skin, made up of blisters and bumps, ranging in color from white, to red, to the color of your skin

How to treat scabies

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of scabies, speak to a doctor immediately to begin antiparasitic treatment and prevent the risk of spread to others, as it is an extremely contagious skin condition. Delaying treating scabies puts others at risk. Your doctor will also need to rule out other skin conditions that present with similar symptoms.

If you are sexually active, your partner(s) will need to begin treatment for scabies as well. This is because since it is a highly contagious infection and spread through skin to skin contact, they are at risk, and it can take some time for symptoms to appear after contracting it if they have not had scabies before.

You should avoid having sex and engaging in other forms of close contact to reduce the risk of reinfection, until both you and your partner are finished taking the full course of treatment.

If you've been diagnosed with scabies, your doctor may suggest testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well.

Scabies medication

  • Prescription strength creams and lotions called scabicides are the usual course of treatment to kill scabies mites and get rid of the infestation. A commonly used scabicide is permethrin cream.

    All sexual partners and members of your household should avoid close contact and begin treatment at the same time as you, as scabies is very contagious and symptoms can take a while to appear.

    While scabicides are highly effective at killing the mites, itching will typically persist for several days after the mites have been killed. To help ease the discomfort of itching, there are several over-the-counter anti-itch creams and pills that can provide relief, such as hydrocortisone and antihistamine pills.

    You should apply the cream or lotion to the skin to the whole body, except your head. Make sure your skin is cool and dry before applying, and don't apply the cream or lotion right after a hot bath. Applying the treatment while your skin is hot will reduce its efficacy, as it will be quickly absorbed into the skin.

    Make sure to follow the proper instructions given to you along with the treatment, to make sure you apply it correctly. Some products must be applied to the scalp and face, while others do not. Make sure to pay extra attention to areas that are difficult to reach, such as your back, the soles of your feet, in between fingers and toes, underneath fingernails, and genitals. If using anything to apply treatment, immediately put it in a bag and dispose of it afterwards.

    You must leave the treatment on your body for the specified amount of time before washing it off. Wash your linens, towels, and sleepwear after applying the treatment for the first time. It is important to repeat treatment 7 days after the initial application to ensure any mites that hatched from existing eggs are killed as well.

    For crusted scabies cases, you also need to clean the floors in your house and vacuum your carpets and furniture completely, including armchairs and couches. After the first course of treatment is complete, children and adults can return to school or work.

How to prevent scabies

Since scabies is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, the best way to prevent scabies is to avoid contact with an infected person. Scabies can also spread by sharing clothes or bedding with an infected person. For this reason, it is recommended to wash all bedding, clothing, and towels in hot water if it may have come into contact with a scabies infestation. Place all infected items in plastic bags for several weeks to starve the mites, as scabies mites live for several days without a host.

If someone in your household is infected with scabies, in addition to the actions above, you should see a doctor to treat scabies. This is important because scabies symptoms can be delayed by several weeks after an infection.

Also, it is important that you clean and disinfect your house. Mites can live off the human body for 2-3 days and re-infestation is common. To avoid this, wash everything.

When to see a doctor for scabies

If you, a member of your household, or anyone you have been in close contact with is experiencing any scabies symptoms, see a doctor for treatment immediately. After they diagnose scabies, a doctor can prescribe antiparasitics to get rid of a possible infestation.

Even if you are not yet experiencing scabies symptoms, if you have been around anyone with scabies, see a doctor to treat scabies immediately, as symptoms can be delayed by several weeks after an infestation.

You should see a doctor immediately if:

  1. You are itching due to a rash.

  2. Someone you are in close contact with or a household member is itching due to a rash or has scabies.

  3. You live in temporary housing and have suddenly developed a rash or itching.

  4. You shared clothes or a bed with someone who has scabies.

Scabies Treatment FAQs

  • Are scabies contagious?

    Yes, scabies are highly contagious, especially in crowded environments where people come into close skin-to-skin contact.

    Some examples of these environments include preschools/daycare centers, schools, prisons, nursing homes, group homes, and other crowded spaces. These environments allow scabies to thrive, as they can easily move from person to person and lay eggs.

    Since scabies is so contagious, if you were in close contact with an infested person, you should seek treatment as well, even if you show no symptoms. Scabies symptoms can be delayed for up to two to six weeks after catching it, but individuals are still contagious during this time period.

  • What are scabies symptoms?

    Because the skin does not immediately react to scabies mites, symptoms can be delayed for up to six weeks. When symptoms appear, common ones include:

    • Intense itching that worsens at night

    • A pimple-like skin rash

    • Scaly, blistering skin

    • Sores from scratching the itchy rash

    • Thin, raised burrow tracks on the skin, made up of blisters and bumps, ranging in color from white, to red, to skin color

  • Is scabies an STI?

    Although scabies can be transmitted through sexual contact, it is not an STI. Scabies is not exclusively contracted through sexual contact. Any direct skin contact for an extended period of time can result in the transmission of scabies from one person to another.

    Although it is not an STI, sex is the most common way to spread scabies between adults. A common infection site is the penis. You are at a higher risk of scabies on the penis if you have had sex or intimate relations with a person infected with scabies. Your risk is also higher with multiple sexual partners.

    Scabies on the penis looks like a pimply rash and raised burrow tracks. It is extremely itchy and will cause discomfort. If you think you have a scabies rash on your penis, see a doctor for official diagnosis, as there are other STIs with similar symptoms.

    Condoms do not prevent the scabies transmission. The best way to prevent spreading scabies is to refrain from close contact and intimacy until the scabies is treated completely, and all bedding and clothing has been properly cleaned.

  • How do you catch scabies?

    Any skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact, is how scabies mites commonly spread. You can also catch scabies by sharing clothing or a bed with a person who has scabies.

    Crowded environments that involve close contact with other people, such as classrooms and nursing homes, are common places for scabies outbreaks.

    If you have been exposed to a person with scabies, catching scabies is likely because it is highly contagious. If you have been exposed, talk to your doctor to begin preventatively treating scabies. As symptoms of scabies are often delayed, getting treatment before symptoms arise will save you from the discomfort.

  • What is typical scabies treatment?

    Scabies will not go away on their own and are typically treated with prescription creams and lotions called scabicides. Scabicide lotion or cream should be applied as directed by your doctor according to the instructions on the container.

    While scabicides are highly effective at killing the mites, itching can typically persist for several days after the mites have been killed. To help reduce the discomfort of itching, there are several over-the-counter anti-itch creams and pills that can provide relief, such as hydrocortisone and antihistamine pills.

    If you have come into close contact with a person who has scabies, you should undergo treatment as well, even if no symptoms are showing. This is because symptoms can begin to appear two to six weeks after contracting the infection.

  • How do you know if you have scabies?

    Since scabies symptoms can be delayed, sometimes for several weeks, after catching scabies, you may not know if you have scabies right away.

    Because scabies mites are highly contagious, even if you do not have a scabies rash, if you have come into close contact or have engaged in intimate contact with an infected person, you should see a doctor to begin treatment right away. The same is true if a member of your household has become infected with scabies. Scabies can also spread by sharing clothes, a bed, or towels with an infected person.

  • How can I treat scabies over the counter?

    Trying to treat scabies with OTC medications can be ineffective and delay proper treatment. There are no effective over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat scabies. Scabies is a skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin and lay eggs. It's important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment to avoid complications and the spread of scabies to others. It's important to see a doctor if you suspect or know you or someone in your family has scabies.

    The most effective treatment for scabies is a prescription medication called a scabicide, which kills the mites and their eggs. OTC products lack the strength or effectiveness to eliminate scabies completely.

    Scabies can also mimic other skin conditions like eczema or allergic reactions. An experienced doctor can perform a quick examination to confirm scabies and differentiate it from other conditions. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan that includes medication for you and potentially your close contacts to prevent the spread of scabies. They'll also provide guidance on washing clothes, bedding, and towels to eliminate mites and eggs from your environment.

    Our board-certified physicians are available 24/7 for consultations. Within an hour, you can discuss your symptoms, receive a diagnosis, and get a same-day prescription for the right scabies medication.

3 simple steps to get treated for scabies today

Step 1: Book an appointment

Step 1

Book a scabies treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2: Visit with a doctor on your smartphone

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your scabies symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3: pick up at local pharmacy

Step 3

Pick up a prescription for scabies.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Related conditions to scabies

  • The rash that results from scabies may appear similar to other skin conditions, such as:

    Psoriasis

    Eczema

    Rash

    Contact dermatitis

Scabies treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request scabies treatment and get a new prescription or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance

Membership

$16.99/month

First month free

Visits

Copay

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance

Membership

$16.99/month

First month free

Visits

$129

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

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If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.