How to Make 5% Permethrin Cream at home

I made a NEW 5% permethrin website with lots of new scabies information.
Click here to go to my NEW scabies web site!

 It isn't hard to do. Download the step-by-step directions (below) and print them out.
I have a YouTube video showing how to mix it up here.
In the stores I paid $80 for a 2 ounce tube. The next time I made it myself for $2 for 2 ounces.

Where to buy Liquid Permethrin
The cheapest way to get started today is to go to Tractor Supply and buy Gordon's® Permethrin-10 Livestock & Premise Spray for $6.99 (8 oz) (SKU 2212873). You'll also need some skin lotion, too. That is enough to make 16 ounces of 5% permethrin cream.

I bought my permethrin at Amazon.
It comes as either 10% or 36.8%. The 10% has 90% "Inert ingredients". The 36.8% has 90% "Other ingredients" and "Contains petroleum distillates" which was much harder on my skin when I tried it.

Here are the Amazon links for what I used:
Martin's Permethrin 10% 8 ounces, $17, free shipping
Martin's Permethrin 10%, 16 ounces ($24, free shipping)
Martin's Permethrin 10% 32oz ($25 including shipping) 
"Special, non-burning formula contains no solvents or petroleum distillates. It has virtually no odor when mixed with water."
By the way, prices on-line change often so sometimes you'll see slightly different numbers at Amazon.

The 36.8% can be used to tick-proof your clothes (see my how to video on YouTube here). If you plan to tick-proof your clothes, get the Permethrin 36.8% SFR 32 oz Bottle.
For your sensitive skin, get the 10% permethrin.

What about the lotion?
You can use any normal skin lotion. I used Gold Bond Ultimate healing with Aloe because it is thick and is just a nice lotion. Wal-Mart has a very nice generic Equate Baby Lotion for $4 for a big bottle (27 ounces). But you can use what ever you want to buy or already have on hand.

This treatment can dry your skin, so sometimes I used body oil all over and it helped lessen the itch as my skin healed. You can get Neutrogena body oil ($16) or the cheaper Target body oil ($8).

Even better is Eurax Lotion or Eurax Cream (100 ml or 100 grams or 3 oz). It's a bit pricey ($13 or $15 each with shipping), but if you have the money, order a few bottles or tubes. This is my favorite because it kills scabies AND it lessens itching. It isn't as strong as the permethrin or ivermectin but it is a great extra helper. I prefered the lotion at night because it is easier to spread, softened my skin and one bottle covered my body twice. But the cream is handy for applying to an itchy spot during the day. I got to the point where I would try anything, so I ordered both the lotion and the cream. Plus you can apply it up to three times a day! Got an itch? Rub some Eurax on it and it's better quickly. I put this on all over before bed and once under the blankets, my skin got this mild warmth with no itching! I could sleep! What a relief. Lack of sleep from itching actually made me a bit insane.

Another odd solution for sleeping was 10% sulfur lotion/ointment. I put that lotion on before sleep and it, too, warmed my skin and killed the itch and the mites. It helps your skin exfoliate (shed the top layer) but it can dry skin a bit, too. Look elsewhere on this page for how I mixed mine up.

Aloe vera gel helped to lessen the permethrin itch, too. Fruit of the Earth makes a great Aloe Gel ($6). Their Cool Blue Gel has 1% lidocaine which can provide temporary relief from itching (available at Walgreen's and elsewhere). Make sure to get the pump bottle as this stuff is very thick! Plus it left a shiny, hard, flexible coating on my skin that made it harder to scratch…sort of a reminder to let my skin recover.

How long can scabies live in clothes, furniture, etc.?
Most references say the mites can only live 2 or 3 days off their host (you!), but this study demonstrated that in cool, high humidity settings, the scabies mites can live at least 4 days. Hot, dry environments kill them faster. That is why a half hour of high heat in the dryer can kill them off.  
Things that may harbor mites or eggs that cannot be isolated for a week can be sprayed with 5% permethrin (permethrin mixed with plain water instead of lotion) and allowed to dry completely. This is how I treated my car seats, office chair and cushions on my deck chair.
Remember wet permethrin can be fatal for cats, so keep them away until the treated items are completely dry.

Permethrin resistant scabies?
All of the cases of supposedly permethrin resistant scabies have been traced back to people using a 1% solution of permethrin, which is the treatment for head lice. As far as is known, there are lidane (an older scabicide) resistant scabies but that isn't used anymore. 
Over 90% of scabies cases resolve with two treatments of 5% permethrin a week apart.
Here is a great article which documents permethrin resistant cases in depth. 
Of course, if you are one of the small group that isn't cured that way, you deserve extra attention and treatment. I was one of these sufferers. If two 5% permethrin cream treatments, one week apart, doesn't work for you, I suggest combining the permethrin with ivermectin. One problem is that using the permethrin can result in a rash or hives and they itch, too. So you can't really tell if you are cured for 3 or 4 weeks.
To me there was a different itching with scabies than with the reaction to the permethrin cream.
With scabies, it felt as if someone had pressed a blunt thin wire into my skin and then went sideways underneath — sometimes just one, sometimes many in one area, sometimes all over my legs or arms — and it suddenly turned on especially strongly in the evening.
With the permethrin, there was more of a general itch, like after a sunburn. It is normal to have a rash or mild hives from the permethrin, so make sure you wait a week between treatments or you can get a severe rash. Give your skin time to recover between treatments! 

If this doesn't kill all the Scabies mites
First off, not everyone is cured with one treatment of 5% permethrin. You can repeat this once a week.
Second, you can get a prescription for ivermectin, pills you swallow to kill the devils from the inside out. To be thorough, you can do a pemethrin treatment at the same time you take the ivermectin pills. Or you can try sulfur ointment (link to the right).
Third, be extra sure you are cleaning up your environment,  launder in hot water and hot dryer settings. You can just put pillows, comforters or whatever in the dryer and run it on hot for 30 minutes to kill the scabies mites. You can also scabies-proof your furniture and car. I'm making a video on that now — check my youtube site to see if it's up.
Two other offerings: the traditional treatment is sulfur ointments, at least 40%. Nu-Stock 70% Sulfur Ointment is the real deal. It's nice and cream, and you can mix it with some baby lotion to dilute (see details in the right-hand sidebar).  
Also, you can get ivermectin for animals to do with as you choose (from Amazon or Tractor Supply). It's called "horse paste" but is used for all manner of animals such as horses cattle, sheep, and dogs (but not certains dogs such as collies). It's called "injectable", but that is because it comes in a syringe (but no needle) for shooting it into the back of an animal's mouth. The MSDS for horse paste is here (more info in the sidebar to the right). See a YouTube video showing how I used "Horse Paste" ivermectin myself. It tastes better with a dab of strawberry jam or on a cracker.

Step-by-step Directions

Click here to download free complete directions on:
1. how to mix up the 5% permethrin cream
2. how to apply it
3. how often
4. using ivermectin
4. how to treat your clothes and furniture
5. and more.

Sulfur Ointment
Nu-Stock is an ointment with 70% sulfur, plus pine and mineral oil. Amazon has Nu-Stock Ointment in 12-Ounce tubes for around $15. It mixes really well with baby lotion ($4 for 27 oz!) to make whatever percent ointment you want.
If you are hyper-sensitive to sulfur smells, move along. For those who want to try a a more "natural" sulfur treatment, this is what 87% of Amazon reviewers say worked to rapidly cure their pets' parasite problems.
Nu-Stock is 73% sulfur, 25% mineral oil, 2% pine oil.

The recipe:
To make 10% ointment
1 oz Nu-Stock + 6 oz lotion = 7 oz of 10% sulfur ointment
To make 14% ointment
1 oz Nu-Stock + 4 oz lotion = 5 oz of 14% sulfur ointment
To make 20% ointment
1 oz Nu-Stock + 3 oz lotion = 4 oz of 20% sulfur ointment

The latest research (here and here) using sulfur ointment has used 10% sulfur ointment successfully.
The sulfur ointment needs to be applied for three days in a row, either once a day for twelve hours each time (like overnight while you sleep) OR by applying it once a day and leaving it on for 24 hours. In both studies the subjects showered once a day.
Leaving it on 12 hours (each day for three days) resulted on a 90% cure rate. Leaving it on 24 hours (each day for 3 days) resulted in a 96% cure rate.
You may have to wait 4 days and then repeat this just to be to be sure to kill any eggs that hatch after the first treatment. 

I have used both 15% and 20% and even a little of the straight 70% and aside from smelling a bit (which I really didn't mind), it was actually soothing. It warmed my skin in bed at night and somehow that stopped the itching so I could sleep. But it does dry your skin out and that can result in mildly itchy skin. Body oil can help with that.
I also took ivermectin at the same time, so it's hard to say which did what, but this (plus 5% permethrin once a week) is what finally finished off my scabies.
It's around $15 + shipping for 12 ounces — enough to make two and a half quarts of 10% sulfur lotion (after you add the skin lotion). That's a LOT of lotion!
Ivermectin Horse Paste
This is 1.87% ivermectin intended for animals.
I have a YouTube video of how I used it here.

Ivermectin Suppliers
Horse Health Ivermectin Paste 1.87% ($6.13, free shipping with Amazon Prime)
Ivermectin Apple Flavor Paste, 1.87% ($5.73, free shipping with Amazon Prime)

Tractor Supply
Horse Health Equine Ivermectin Paste, 1.87% (two for $8 = $4 each)
DuMOR® Equine Ivermectin Paste 1.87% ($4 in store)
Zimecterin® (Ivermectin) 1.87% Equine Dewormer Paste ($8 in store)
The manufacturer recommends "91 mcg ivermectin per lb (200 mcg/kg) body weight", but there are marking on the plunger to make your life easier (see up close up image here).
Two nice medical descriptions of ivermectin use with humans are here and here