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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Distressing itching
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997

In <> Raymond Berry> writes:

>Generally I'm blessed with good health, for which I am truly thankful. A
>few weeks ago, however, I developed an itching rash on my upper thighs
>and surrounding area. I tried treating the rash with proprietory
>ointments suggegsted by my local pharmacist - but to no avail.
>After a week,the itching got worse and the rash began to spread and so I
>visted my doctor. He diagnosed folliculitus (I'm not sure of the spelling
>or if this is exactly the correct term). He explained that a germ was
>infecting the hair follicles on my legs and body. After trying 2
>different anti-biotics with no positive results, the doctor decided that
>I should see a dermatologist.
>The rash has spread all over my torso and legs and itches like
>crazy.Anthystamines have no effect on the itch, but a drug called Atarax
>has some effect in dulling the itch during the day. During the late
>afternoon however, the itching begins to become more and more intense
>until by late evening I'm trying to scratch my skin off. The itching can
>be subdued by a hot bath and wash down with Hibiscrub, but in the early
>hours of the morning I'll be up and again trying to scratch off my skin.
>My appointement with the dermatologist is not for another 2 weeks. I've
>been itching for 6 weeks now. Is there *anything* I can use to to
>alleviate the infernal itching in the meantime?
>I would be greatful for any help (and so would my wife and children as I
>get very grumpy and intolerant)

Common things are common.  Odds are good you have scabies (a burrowing
skin mite, too small to see), though of course I can't diagnose it this
way.  It certainly looks like folliculitis, but has a histaminic
itching component which is fierce.  It's usually picked up from sex
(especially if it starts in the groin area) but there are other ways to
get it.

Call your regular doc and ask if you can try an "empiric" course of
treatment if he thinks there's any possiblity that this it what you
have.  The conventional treatment is "Kwell" lotion or a generic
lindane lotion, applied once after a shower, for 24 hours, to your
whole body from neck down (you have to do some fancy washing of bedding
and clothing to make sure you don't recontaminate-- any any sexual
partners and THEIR bedding and clothes need treatment also).  I've
found that the darned mites are getting resistant to lindane these days
and need to be followup dosed with crotamiton/Eurax creme, which is
must less poisonous but must be used twice (or more).  Most pharmacies
in the US have to order it specially-- have no idea about the chemists
where you live.  I suggest you get prescriptions for both lindane and
crotamiton, and use the lindane while waiting for the crotamiton to
arrive.  Itching will continue for a week or so after treatment (as
it's an allergy to mite feces), and then slowly resolve.  At worst it
will be good info for your dermatologist.

                                            Steve Harris, M.D.

From: Steven B. Harris <>
Subject: Re: Scabies
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001 12:58:44 GMT

In article <vX%n6.11948$>,
	"Ellen" <> wrote:

>Anyone know a natural cure for scabies.  I caught it from a child a few
>months ago and after 2 visits to the doctor and 3 treatments one with
>lindane and two with permethrin I have had no relief.  Yes I have washed
>every shred of linen and clothing in my house with hot water.  Any
>suggestions welcome.

Scabies is getting resistant to lindane in some places, and I've
never liked the stuff because it's so toxic. See your doc for a
prescription for crotamiton ointment (Eurax). It stinks, but it works
and it's nontoxic enough to be used again and again (several times a
week on various spots, if need be). Helps itch in some people.
Remember also that the itch is an allergic reaction and continues
long after all the mites are dead. You have to track scabies by NEW
lesions appearing more than a couple of days after the last
application of lotion.

Sulfur ointment (if you can find it or have a pharmacist make it up)
will kill mites but stinks even more. For that you get a lesser
effect, albeit with even less toxicity.

From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: Scabies - advice??
Date: 23 Jun 2005 11:19:03 -0700
Message-ID: <>

The itch is allergic (to mite feces) and can last a disconcertingly
long time after the critters are all dead. New bumps can even pop up
after they're all dead.

Derbac is basically malathion. The next most popular mitocide is
lindane. Both have enough systemic toxicity that you can't use them
every day on every new lesion until you're comfortable, which is often
what you really want to do with scabies.

I suggest you get your doc to prescribe you some Eurax (crotamiton
creme). It's nontoxic and you can just use it all you like until you're
sure it's all eradicated.


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