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September 1990

Treatment of Scabies

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(9):1166. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670330046004

Treatment of Scabies.—  In my former letters I have called attention to various methods employed in France for the treatment of scabies in private practice. I have spoken of the very convenient and practicable treatment by petroleum. The rapid method of treatment employed at the Hôpital St. Louis, commonly termed la frotte, which cures the itch in an hour and a half, is well known. This rapid treatment is exceedingly irritable, and can scarcely be utilized in the case of children and in persons whose skin is irritated and presents numerous lesions. In this class of persons Messrs. Vidal and Fournier recommend the employment of a mixture of two parts of styrax with one part of olive-oil; with this preparation two frictions are made—one in the morning and one at night. I think it preferable to employ a mixture of twenty parts of oil and ten parts of styrax, and one or two parts of balsam of Peru. In the great majority of cases these applications are admirably well borne by the most irritable skins, even by infants at the breast. Under its use the itching ceases, the eruption gradually disappears, even when it presents a markedly inflammatory character. Nevertheless, one must distrust this application somewhat; quite recently I had occasion to order daily frictions of the above mixture in the case of an eczematous young man suffering from scabies, and in forty-eight hours there developed an intense artificial eruption, characterized by a most vivid redness, a marked tumefaction of the integument, with an innumerable quantity of small vesico-pustules. It is probable that the substances which entered into the composition of the ointment were adulterated, since it is the only time in ten years' experience that I have observed an artificial eruption in a patient with scabies treated with styrax.J Cutan Genito-Uriii Dis.September 1890;8:348.

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