Comparison of topical 5% Permethrin with topical 10% Sulphur in the treatment of Scabies


  • Aleena Nasir CMH Abbottabad
  • Abdul Haseeb Khan Jinnah International Hospital Abbottabad
  • Sara Sarwar Pak Emirates Military Hospital (PEMH), Rawalpindi
  • Mahnoor Farooq CMH Abbottabad
  • Najia Sajjad Department of Community Medicine, Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad


Scabies, Permethrin, Sulphur ointment


Objective: To compare the efficacy of topical 5% Permethrin and topical 10% Sulphur in the treatment of Scabies.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Place and duration of study: This study was conducted at the Department of Dermatology, Combined Military Hospital, Abbottabad, Pakistan, from March 2022 to September 2022.

Patients and methods: A total of 60 patients coming to outpatient department and diagnosed with scabies mites were randomized into two equal groups of 30 patients. Diagnosed patients on odd serial number were allocated to group A, treated with application of topical 5% Permethrin cream twice with one week interval, while patients reporting on even serial number were allocated to group B, treated with 10% Sulphur ointment and were told to apply this for two or three weeks. All patients were followed up at the intervals of 1, 2 and 4 weeks. Primary outcome was the comparison of efficacy of 5% Permethrin cream and 10% Sulphur ointment for the treatment of Scabies.

Results: At the first follow-up  after 1 week, the efficacy of Permethrin was significantly higher (63.33%) compared to Sulphur group where no patient was cured (p< 0.001), while at 2nd follow-up after 2 weeks, the efficacy of Permethrin was 100%, while it was 43.33% in sulfur group (p< 0.001).  However at the end of 3rd follow-up after 4 weeks, efficacy of both treatments was 100%.

Conclusion: The topical application of 5% Permethrin and 10% Sulphur was equally effective in 4 week time, however Permethrin cream showed faster cure in the treatment of Scabies






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