Permethrin cream is a topical ointment used for treating scabies. It is available both as OTC and prescribed medication. Permethrin cream kills the mites and removes their eggs. It falls in the category of scabicide. This medication is for external use only and should be applied to the skin as it is prescribed or mentioned on the pack. Generally, the cream is applied from head to the soles of the feet, covering under your nail and skin folds area. The cream should be washed off after 8-14 hours by showering or taking a bath.

What are the Side Effects of Permethrin Cream?

Although permethrin cream is effective treatment for scabies, there are many side effects reportedwith the cream, which are mainly due to the wrong use. It can aggravate the symptoms of scabies like skin irritation, itching, swelling, and redness. Apart from that, you can feel mild burning and stinging. See your physician immediately if these symptoms turn worse or persist for longer.

However, most people have mild reactions to this drug. It is also worth to mention that your physician have prescribed this medication because he judged that it will work for you than posing the risks.

How to Avoid Side Effects Caused By Permethrin Cream?

Permethrin cream can cause adverse effects. However, you can minimize the reactions by using the cream appropriately as per your physician’s instructions.

  • Avoid Using Permethrin Cream If…

You are allergic to any component in the cream. So you must consult your doctor even if you are in doubt.


Some health conditions or medicines can interact with permethrin cream. So, tell your physician or pharmacist if you have any health conditions like…

  • Pregnancy or you are planning to conceive
  • Breast feeding or nursing mother
  • Taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • Being allergic to foods, medicines, and other substances

Therefore you should consult your physician if any of these things apply to you. Share your medical history, especially of skin infections or asthma with your doctor.  Also contact your doctor if you want to make changes in the dose of cream or any medicine while using permethrin cream.


  • Permethrin cream is for external use only. Avoid it using near the eyes or letting it go inside your mouth, nose or genitals. You may feel irritation if the cream reaches to these areas. Flush your eyes immediately in case the cream gets in your eyes.
  • Don’t use permethrin cream on the kids younger than 2 months old
  • Follow the guidelines given on the pack or ask your pharmacist if you are buying OTC permethrin cream.
  • Do not use more or less of it or apply it more often than prescribed by a physician.

So, these are the common side effects of permethrin cream. However, using permethrin alone won’t be sufficient to treat your scabies. Make sure to follow the precautions like wearing clean clothes, changing beddings after use, having less physical contact and vacuuming your home.

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