Comparative study of once and twice application of topical 5% permethrin in patients of scabies

Rashmi Singh, Sujata Singh, Jitendra Pal Singh


Background: Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei which is treated by various topical and oral drugs. Among the all topical drugs, permethrin has been the drug of choice for the treatment of scabies. Therefore the aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of once and twice (repeat after one week) application of topical 5% permethrin in patients of scabies.

Methods: This was an observational study in which a total number of 52, clinically diagnosed patients of scabies, receiving the topical 5% permethrin once (group A) and twice (repeat after one week-group B), were observed for treatment outcome. Treatment was evaluated at intervals of 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks by improvement or decrease in number of lesions and severity of pruritus. The efficacy of both the methods was compared statistically within and between the two groups.

Results: A significant (p= <0.05) decrease in number of lesions as well as pruritus was observed at each follow up visit separately in both the groups. Between the groups comparison demonstrated a significant (p= <0.05) decrease in number of lesions as well as pruritus in group B, at follow up visit of 2 weeks while at the end of 4 weeks there was no difference in cure rate of both groups.

Conclusions: Both the treatment modalities revealed equal efficacy at the end of 4 weeks. However, twice application of topical 5% permethrin showed faster and significant improvement at 2 week follow up in reference to both the number of lesions and severity of pruritus.


Permethrin, Scabies, Topical

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