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What Is Elimite Cream?

author image Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams began her freelance writing career in 2009, teaching others about medical conditions and promoting wellness by writing on online health and fitness publications. She is educated and licensed as a registered nurse, having received her degree from North Georgia College and State University.
What Is Elimite Cream?
Container of cream. Photo Credit svehlik/iStock/Getty Images

Elimite is a cream medication, which treats parasite infestations in the human body, including scabies and lice. Scabies are tiny mites that burrow underneath the skin and cause an itchy rash. Lice consist of parasites that live in hair. Elimite is a topical medication that kills the parasite and ends the itching associated with the infestation. For best results, use Elimite as directed by a physician to prevent re-infestation of the scabies.


Elimite contains the active ingredient permethrin and is for topical use. The medication comes in tubes of off-white colored creams and is available over the counter (OTC), without a prescription. The medication also comes in a spray form and as a shampoo. The spray Elimite helps eliminate mites from items that are not easy to wash, such as furniture and hair accessories.

Administration for Scabies

Before bed, take a shower to clean the skin. Dry well and apply a thin layer of Elimite all over the body, from the chin down to the soles of the feet. For children and the elderly, also apply Elimite to the scalp, forehead and temples. Avoid use on the face near the eyes, nose and mouth. Rub medication into skin until all the visible medication disappears. Dress in loose clothing and sleep on freshly laundered sheets. Wash off Elimite after 8 to 14 hours. One application is all that is usually necessary. If the symptoms of the scabies infestation do not go away, or if they reappear, repeat the procedure a week later. Itching may continue for up to two weeks, even after killing the mites.

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Treating Head Lice

Elimite kills the parasite associated with head lice. Use the shampoo version of Elimite on dry hair. Apply shampoo to hair and massage into scalp. Wait 10 minutes with the shampoo on the hair. Apply warm water to your head and work shampoo into a lather. Rinse all the Elimite from the hair. If using an Elimite cream rinse, shampoo hair as usual, but do not place conditioner on the hair. Towel dry hair and apply enough cream to cover hair. Leave the cream in place for 10 minutes before rinsing. Avoid allowing Elimite to get into the eyes during procedure. Use a nit comb to comb out any nits. Repeat treatment in a week if the lice are still present.

Pubic Lice Treatment

For treating pubic lice, also known as crabs, wash and dry genital area. Apply Elimite to all pubic hair and surrounding hairs on legs and anus. Leave Elimite in place for 10 minutes and add warm water to work product into a lather. Rinse out the Elimite thoroughly. Use a nit comb, if necessary, to comb out eggs. Treat all sexual partners to prevent a re-infestation.

Side Effects

Elimite does not have many side effects are associated with its use. The most common side effects reported after using Elimite are reactions on the skin. These reactions include, but are not limited to, burning, itching and swelling to the site. Some individuals might experience an allergy to Elimite. Immediately wash off all Elimite and seek immediate medical assistance if hives, swelling of the airway or a shortness of breath occur. Report any side effects to a physician.


Before using Elimite, report any additional medical conditions or allergies to the doctor. Use this medication under a physician’s supervision if pregnant or breast-feeding. Elimite is for topical use only. Avoid putting Elimite in mucous membranes and do not take internally. Store Elimite at room temperature and away from children.

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