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Permethrin 5% Cream

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1 x 30g
2 x 30g
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Treatment Information

Table of contents

What is Permethrin Cream?

Permethrin 5% cream is a topical cream used to treat scabies. It contains the active ingredient permethrin.

Permethrin 5% cream is generic Lyclear Dermal Cream which means they both contain the same active ingredient, in the same quantity, and work in the same way but the generic type is often cheaper than the branded version.

What is Permethrin Cream Used For?

Permethrin 5% cream is used to treat scabies, an itchy skin rash caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin to lay their eggs. The rash can occur anywhere but often starts between the fingers.

Research shows that Permethrin 5% cream has a response rate of over 90% after the first treatment. Permethrin 5% cream was 92.8% effective after two applications for the treatment of scabies in another study.

Permethrin is also prescribed to treat pubic lice, an example of a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

How Does Permethrin Cream Work?

Permethrin works by killing the mites or lice that cause scabies or pubic lice. It does this by affecting the insects' nervous systems causing muscle spasms, paralysis, and eventually death.

The active ingredient in Permethrin 5% Cream, permethrin, targets eggs, lice, and mites affecting sodium transport across nerve cell membranes.

How Long Does Permethrin Cream Take To Work?

Usually one application of Permethrin 5% Cream is enough to treat scabies or lice but it must be left on for a period of at least 8 hours to be effective.

However, if you have a persistent or new infestation, you may need to repeat the treatment after 14 days. Your doctor will advise how often you must apply Permethrin Cream.

How To Use Permethrin 5% Cream

You should always use Permethrin 5% Cream exactly as your doctor has told you to. If you are unsure, speak to your doctor before applying the cream.

  • To treat adults:
    • You will likely need to use one 30g tube.
    • If you need to apply Permethrin Cream across your whole body, you will need more but you should not apply more than 2 tubes at each application.
    • You should apply the cream to cool, dry skin.
    • Do not apply the cream to any area where the skin is broken or after a hot shower or bath.
    • Apply the cream to your whole body but not your head or face.
    • Apply the cream well between your fingers and toes, under your nails, wrists, armpits, external genitals, breasts and buttocks.
    • Once applied, leave the cream on for at least 8 hours but wash off with soap and water within 12 hours.
    • If you wash your hands with soap and water within 8 hours of application, you will need to reapply Permethrin Cream.
  • Application instructions for the elderly:
    • Apply the cream in the same way as adults but apply the cream to the neck, face, ears and scalp but avoid the area close to the eyes.

How Much Permethrin Cream Should Be Used?

To treat scabies the recommended amount of Permethrin 5% Cream is 30g (one tube) in adults.

To treat pubic lice, the recommended dose is 30g.

The amount of cream you will need will depend on your:

  • Age
  • Body size
  • Severity of the infestation

You should follow your doctor’s advice when applying Permethrin 5% Cream but you should avoid applying more than 2 tubes (60g) of Permethrin Cream in any one application.

What Should I Do If I Accidentally Use Too Much Dovobet Gel?

While there are no reports of overdose with Dovobet Gel, using too much may cause localized or severe skin reactions. If you have applied too much gel, gently wash off the excess with warm water.

If accidental ingestion occurs, especially by a child, seek medical advice promptly. Do not attempt to induce vomiting. It is important to consult a healthcare professional or go to the nearest hospital emergency department and bring the product packaging with you.

Who Should Not Use Permethrin Cream?

You should speak to your doctor before using Permethrin 5% Cream if you are:

  • allergic to chrysanthemums or other Compositae
  • pregnant and breastfeeding
  • taking other medicines like corticosteroids

Permethrin Cream Side Effects and Cautions

Side Effects

Skin discomfort, irritation signs, and persistent itching post-treatment may occur. These are generally mild, transient, or part of the natural history of scabies. Report any side effects to the healthcare provider.


Permethrin 5% w/w Cream should be kept out of the sight and reach of children and is for external use only.

Gloves should be worn by nursing staff and carers applying the cream to avoid irritation.

Avoid contact with eyes, and rinse immediately with water or saline if contact occurs.

Be aware of the flammability of fabrics treated with this product.

Permethrin Cream Allergies

Permethrin creams are formulated with 0.45g of benzyl alcohol per tube. It is important to be aware that benzyl alcohol can provoke allergic reactions in some individuals.

Patients undergoing treatment for scabies may experience persistent itching for up to four weeks following the conclusion of therapy. This symptom is commonly attributed to an allergic response to deceased mites beneath the skin, rather than an indication of unsuccessful treatment.

If you notice any signs that you might be allergic to something, it's very important to get help from your doctor or pharmacist right away

Medicinal Interactions

No interactions with other medicinal products are known.

Treatment with corticosteroids should be withheld prior to treatment with Permethrin 5% w/w Cream due to the risk of exacerbating the scabies infestation.


Permethrin 5% w/w Cream is contraindicated in individuals with hypersensitivity to permethrin, its components, or related compounds.

Permethrin Cream During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Limited data on the use of Permethrin 5% w/w Cream in pregnancy provide no indication of any risk to the foetus. Permethrin absorption is extremely low, but some may pass the placental barrier. The negative mutagenicity tests and low mammalian toxicity suggest minimal risk following treatment with permethrin.

Other Safety Information

Permethrin 5% w/w Cream is strictly for external use and should not be applied to broken skin or near the eyes and mouth.

The cream should be applied to skin that is clean, dry, and cool.

Do not use it right after a hot bath as this can increase absorption.

As a vanishing cream, Permethrin should be rubbed in until it is no longer visible.

If hands are washed within 8 hours of application, the cream should be reapplied.

A full body wash is recommended 8-12 hours after applying the cream to remove any residue.

For the elderly, application should include the neck, face, ears, and scalp, but avoid the eyes.

Always seek advice from a healthcare professional if you are unsure about the use of Permethrin Cream or concerned about side effects.

Where Can I Buy Permethrin Cream Online in the UK?

When looking to buy Permethrin Cream online in the UK, it's essential to choose a trusted and certified online pharmacy. Prescription Doctor provides a safe and convenient service, allowing you to consult with healthcare professionals and order Permethrin 5% Cream with next-day delivery.

Prescription Doctor: Your Trusted Source for Permethrin Cream with Next-Day UK Delivery

Obtaining Permethrin 5% Cream via Prescription Doctor is a seamless process. Following a brief online consultation, our accredited doctors will review your condition. If your order is confirmed by 3 pm on weekdays, our UK-registered pharmacy will ensure your medication is dispatched swiftly.

Enjoy the benefits of quick, discreet, and next-day delivery, so you can have your essential treatment promptly and without any hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Permethrin 5% Cream

How Should Permethrin Cream Be Applied?

Suitable for adults, children over 2 months, and the elderly. Apply to clean, dry, and cool skin. Reapply to hands if washed within 8 hours of treatment. Wash the whole body 8-12 hours after application.

Who Should Not Use Permethrin Cream?

Contraindicated for those with hypersensitivity to the product, its components, other pyrethroids, or pyrethrins.

Are There Any Special Precautions For Using Permethrin Cream?

Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes. Use with caution if sensitive to chrysanthemums or other compositae.

Are There Any Known Interactions With Permethrin Cream?

No known interactions. However, treatment of eczematous-like reactions with corticosteroids should be withheld prior to treatment with Permethrin 5% Cream.

Can Permethrin Cream Be Used During Pregnancy And Lactation?

Limited data available, but no indication of risk to the foetus. Very low concentrations of permethrin may be excreted in milk, but the risk to the neonate/infant is considered unlikely.

Does Permethrin Cream Affect The Ability To Drive Or Use Machines?

There are no known effects on the ability to drive or use machines.

What Should Be Done In Case Of An Overdose Of Permethrin Cream?

No reports of overdose. Symptoms may include nausea, headache, vomiting, dizziness, and convulsion. In case of accidental ingestion, especially by children, seek medical advice.

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Permethrin 5% w/w Cream
  • Manufacturer: Sandoz Limited
  • Active Ingredient(s): Permethrin
  • Administration: Topical
  • Presentation: Cream
  • Available Strength: 5%
  • Exemption: Pharmacy Only
  • Application: Adults
  • Dosage: Normally, up to one tube (30g). A few adults may need to use an additional tube for full body coverage but should not use more than 2 tubes (60g in total) at each application.
  • Description: Permethrin 5% cream is generic Lyclear Dermal Cream designed to effectively treat scabies
  • Drug Class: Dermatological
  • Alcohol Consumption: No influence
  • When Pregnant: Speak to your doctor for further advice.
  • Price: GBP
Click here to view the Permethrin 5% Cream - Patient Information Leaflet

Authored By


Leanne Edermaniger

Medical Content Writer
Leanne is a science and health content writer focusing on human health and biology while utilising her solid academic background.

Published on: 01/11/2023

Reviewed By

Dr Giuseppe Aragona
Dr. Giuseppe utilises his extensive experience in general practice to ensure the accuracy and safety of the website's content.

Reviewed on: 13/03/2024
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