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[3 min read] Research review: Topical ivermectin for neonatal scabies

A growing resistance of scabies to permethrin treatment has been experienced and widely documented in literature. The reasons of that are not well understood and should be better comprehended by researchers. An unmet need of a novel treatment is felt among clinicians who daily experience difficulties in scabies treatment.

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Although not currently recommended by guidelines, oral ivermectin has been approved in some countries for the treatment of scabies in patients weighing ≥ 15 kg (200 μg/kg). Unfortunately, newborns, because of their low weight, cannot take advantage of this oral treatment.

In a recent paper published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology, we have described two newborns with proven resistance of scabies to permethrin, who were safely and successfully treated topical ivermectin.

Topical ivermectin is usually prescribed for the treatment of rosacea, but can be considered a valid, safe and effective option to treat neonatal scabies, when topical permethrin has failed.

Further studies are advisable to make this observation widely accepted by the scientific community.


vincenzo piccolo

– Dr Vincenzo Piccolo

Full paper:

Bassi A, Piccolo V, Argenziano G, Mazzatenta C. Topical ivermectin: an off-label alternative to treat neonatal Scabies in the era of permethrin resistance. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2022 Feb 21. doi: 10.1111/jdv.18026. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35188996.

Watch Dr Vincenzo Piccolo’s recent video review on this topic.


Read more recent research from Dr Vincenzo Piccolo.

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