What is Permethrin?
Permethrin is a common synthetic chemical that is used as an insect repellant or insecticide. It is sometimes sold under the brand name Elimite and belongs to a group of chemicals called pyrethroids and works as a neurotoxin by prolonging the activation of sodium channels on neuron membranes. It is considered to be harmless on most birds and mammals, but is thought to be toxic to fish and cats.
Permethrin can be used as an insect screen or insect repellant in timber treatments, in pet flea preventative collars and treatments, and as a personal protective measure. It can also be used on humans to eradicate the mites responsible for scabies and the parasites known as head lice. It may also be used in domestic and industrial settings to control pests like termites and ants.
When being used as a topical medication to treat scabies, it is important to apply the medication to the skin only. It should be applied from the head to the soles of the feet, and users should be sure to cover the area under the nails and in skin folds like between the toes. The cream should be washed off after 8-14 hours, and this can be done by taking a shower or bath.