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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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How can severe scabies on the scalp be treated?

Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2850 Questions

Posted on Mon, 16 Apr 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I have been dealing with scabies since February. I've done a lot of perm lotions, ivermectin, tea tree oil in shampoo, there on my scalp so bad with scabies. my husband does not have them. I do laundry everyday on hot water with borax. I use white towels and bleach them. I've been to the Dr's and just keep giving me cream and pills. please help
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 2 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

When scabies affects the scalp, it's often in people with impaired immune systems, such as those with HIV, or who have undergone or are undergoing chemo, people with Down syndrome, and the advanced elderly. It is usually associated with crusting.

It would be unusual I think, for scabies to be affecting your scalp only, and not have affected the rest of your body given that this has been going on for 8 months. And it sounds as though you have been doing good clean up with the hot water laundry. So this makes me wonder if you actually have scabies or something else. Have you seen a dermatologist in person to have it confirmed recently? Even if it was diagnosed as scabies several months ago, doctors can be wrong about it. So it would be a good idea to get checked again, by a dermatologist who has a lot of experience, perhaps at a university hospital dermatology clinic.

Itchy red bumps can be other things. Scabies mites, after enough time, will create tracks from burrowing under the skin and moving to new places, so by now, tracks should be visible. It is likely that something else is going on that is causing the intense scalp symptoms.

So my recommendation is for you to go in to see a well qualified, experienced, dermatologist as soon as possible. That will be the best guide for your treatment. It could be a fungal infection in which case a shampoo with ketoconazole would be a good idea.

I hope this information helps. I'm sorry you are suffering so much.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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