Scabies and pediculosis pubis: an update of treatment regimens and general review

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;35(Suppl 2):S146-51. doi: 10.1086/342102.


The ectoparasites scabies and pediculosis pubis are common causes of skin rash and pruritus worldwide. They are transmitted primarily by person-to-person spread and are generally associated with low morbidity. The preferred treatment for scabies has generally been topical agents such as lindane and permethrin. Recently, ivermectin has demonstrated good efficacy in the treatment of scabies, and it may be of particular use in institutional outbreaks and in communities in which scabies is endemic. Combination treatment with topical agents and oral ivermectin may be necessary for crusted scabies. Treatment of pediculosis pubis is best accomplished with topical permethrin, lindane, or pyrethrins with piperonyl butoxide. Although resistance to these topical agents has been reported in head lice, decreased efficacy in the treatment of pediculosis pubis has not been reported.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / therapeutic use
  • Ivermectin / therapeutic use
  • Lice Infestations / diagnosis
  • Lice Infestations / drug therapy*
  • Lice Infestations / epidemiology
  • Lice Infestations / transmission
  • Permethrin / therapeutic use
  • Piperonyl Butoxide / therapeutic use
  • Pyrethrins / therapeutic use
  • Scabies / diagnosis
  • Scabies / drug therapy*
  • Scabies / epidemiology
  • Scabies / transmission


  • Anthelmintics
  • Insecticides
  • Pyrethrins
  • Permethrin
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • Ivermectin
  • Piperonyl Butoxide