Ten months of Stalemate.....then an intriguing discovery.

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My battle with scabies started in August.

I'm not sure where I caught it but my feet started itching and I assumed it was some version of athlete's foot. After a couple of months it started spreading up my legs and around my buttocks and scrotum, then on to my stomach forearms chest and shoulders.

I got antifungal cream from the chemist which did seem to have some effect but it always came back.

Eventually I showed my wounds to the chemist who diagnose scabies on the basis of the straight dotted line burrows. A trip to the doctor confirmed this.

I did the permit and treatment and washed all my bedding and clothes and towels and it seemed clear up pretty easily.

I did the second treatment after a week and all seemed to be going well although I still itched slightly and I was getting wounds on my forearms and lower legs.

After reading about scabies on the internet I assumed these were dead mites and debris working their way out of my skin.

By January I was getting definite fresh worms on my ankles and lower legs. I tried the permit room again and it seemed to clear a lot of the wounds but they kept coming back.

I ordered some Derbac M (malathion lotion) off the internet.

It cleared the big wounds around my ankles but again after a few weeks I was getting fresh bites and wounds on my forearms and calves.

I realise the main seat of the infection was still my feet particularly the little toe of my right foot.

I decided to try soaking my feet in Epsom salts.

I filled the bottle with warm water added plenty of Epsom salts and soaked my feet for 30 minutes -timing it with my phone.


Far from curing my problem soaking in water seem to make it easier for the Mites to travel around the exposed flesh.

That's when I realised that all of my reinfection seem to occur after I came out of the bath. Effectively I was soaking my feet in the bath and thus freeing mites to float about in the warm water and come to rest on the parts of my anatomy just above the water line.

I have a big bath and I like to lie down in the bath and soak for 30 or 40 minutes to help with my bad back.

I usually take a bath twice a week and half hours on the other days.

This explains my problems around the ankle and lower leg - I would stand up and watch myself all over with a body wash for several minutes. The mites would be biting my ankles and lower legs because that was only part of my body near the water line.

When I lay down in the bath to rinse the suds off the mites had a greater range of sites to attack.

You can test this yourself by putting your hands or feet or whatever is the most infected part of your body into a bucket or a bowl of warm water for 20 or 30 minutes.

Dry yourself and draw a line on the skin where the body was just above the water line - you will see fresh wounds in 24 to 48 hours.

The solution of course is to stick to taking showers. Any mites that become dislodged during the cleaning process of blasted away by the jets of water and go straight down the plughole.

Once I realise the danger of sitting or lying in what is effectively stillwater I reapplied permethrin and had a shower 24 hours later.

After a week I had real progress and no fresh wounds. I then reapplied permethrin just to make sure I'm from now on will be sticking to showers rather than baths.

If you are having problems with with re-infection then there is a strong possibility that mites are floating about in your bath and re-infecting exposed parts of your body.

Stick to taking showers for several months at least until you're completely sure you're free of infection.

When analysing the failure rates of permethrin on malathion lotion you have to take into account the high probability that people who use these substances will often take a long soak in the bath to remove the remnants of these powerful chemicals from the skin.

Unfortunately lying in a bath of warm water for 30 minutes allows mites that you may have missed during the initial covering process to float about and reinfect any portion of your anatomy that is just above the water line.

This reinfection can therefore be misinterpreted as a failure of permethrin on malathion lotion.

0 likes, 4 replies


4 Replies

  • Posted

    I should explain that predictive text has changed permethrin to permit , wounds to worms and showers to half hours .
  • Posted

    Sigh.... watch should be wash and bottle of warm water should be bowl of warm water...

  • Posted

    One reason that feet tend to stay infected is that when you apply permethrin to your toes it is probably very easy to wipe it off simply by putting on a pair of socks.

    When applying permethrin to your feet I would suggest that you remain barefoot for several hours afterwards.

  • Posted

    One reason that feet tend to stay infected is that when you apply permethrin to your toes it is probably very easy to wipe it off simply by putting on a pair of socks.

    When applying permethrin to your feet I would suggest that you remain barefoot for several hours afterwards


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