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Dr. Nair
Dr. Nair, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 9190
Experience:  MBBS, MD (Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology)
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My wife and I are itchy all over our bodies. I took benadryl

Customer Question

My wife and I are itchy all over our bodies.
JA: How long have you been dealing with this? Does anything in particular seem to make the itch better or worse?
Customer: I took benadryl the other day and that seemed to work briefly
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: It comes and goes..maybe about a year
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 11 months ago.


Thank you for your question. My name is***** and I will do my best to provide a useful input.

Does the itching become worse at night?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It does seem to get worse at night
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the information. Your symptoms are most suggestive of a mite infestation known as Scabies.

Scabies is characterized by generalized itching that is typically worse at night. There is no typical skin rash apart from excoriation marks due to scratching. Grey burrows may be seen in the interdigital areas (between the fingers) and on the wrists on elbows but these are often scratched off. Itching is often present in more than one family member though this is not a necessity for diagnosis.

Here is what is required as treatment:

  • 5% Permethrin cream to be applied all over the body barring the face and scalp once now and once 7 days after the first application. The cream must be left on the body for 12 hours and then washed off
  • Tab Claritin 10 mg twice a day or Benadryl 25 mg three times a day for 14-28 days.
  • Tab Ivermectin (Stromectol) 12 mg (if body wt>60 kgs), 9 mg (if body wt<60 kgs) - taken once now and once 7 days later (take on empty stomach)
  • Wash all the clothes and linen in boiling water or the hot cycle of the washing machine.

All the people living together must also be treated with permethrin as advised above even if they are asymptomatic, as usually everyone in the family is affected but only one or two people develop itching. This is very important. Not doing this is the most common cause of treatment failure in scabies.

Permethrin and Ivermectol require a prescription - your GP or Family Physician can prescribe them for you. Claritin is available over the counter and can be started right away.

Lastly please note that the itching of scabies can take 4 weeks to completely disappear even after successful treatment.

P.S: If there is no way you can see a doctor for the prescription meds then there is a home remedy that I can detail - however this is substantially less effective than the prescription meds. Let me know.

Please feel free to ask if you have any queries.