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April 20th, 2011 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know: Scabies!!

drknowILLUSTRATION: Hawk Krall
     
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All right, Dr. Know, I got fucking scabies. What do I do? Do I buy a cream for it at Walgreens? Or can I cure it with sulfur and tick spray, like the Internet claims? And finally, does this mean I’m an unclean person? 

—Itchy and Scratchy

Warning: Dr. Know is not an actual doctor. I can’t deliver your baby, write you a prescription for cocaine, or testify that you were legally insane when you burned down Applebee’s. Frankly, asking Dr. Know to cure your scabies is a lot like asking Cap’n Crunch to command your aircraft carrier. But what the hell, I’ll give it a shot—if you die, you die. 

The real answer, as I think you already know, is to bite the bullet and see a real doctor. The first-line treatment for scabies, permethrin, usually wipes out the skin-burrowing mites in a single application. You gotta admit, that’s pretty solid. 

Your Internet quick-fixes? Not so much. 

“I have seen lots of patients with scabies,” says Julie Anne Chinnock, who works at Outside In as an actual doctor, with a stethoscope and everything. “Many of them have tried ‘home remedies’ unsuccessfully before coming in for treatment.” 

Still, if your beer-and-lap-dance money is so precious that you’d rather be literally eaten by bugs than spend it on doctors, there are anecdotal reports that some folks have had success with a cream containing 10 percent sulfur, which you can buy online or even make yourself.

There are also flea treatments for dogs that contain permethrin, and theoretically one could compound something quite similar to the prescription product. Personally, I might be tempted to try that—but only because I’m an idiot who really is going to kill himself with one of his stupid schemes someday. Do as I say, not as I do.

 
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