What Happens If You Leave Permethrin Cream On Too Long? | What Happens If Permethrin Is Not Washed Off?

(Last Updated On: April 11, 2022)

Are you using permethrin cream?

Then you might find this article useful. This article will let you know about Permethrin and my experience with it.

In this article, I will go hands-on with this permethrin cream to help you decide whether it’s right for you. 

So the first here is how Permethrin works.

Permethrin can be used to treat scabies, a condition caused by small mites called insects that infest and irritate the skin. Permethrin works by killing insects and their eggs.

  • Permethrin may be used for pubic lice.
  • Permethrin is available in the following different brand names: Elimite, Nix, and Acticin.

In the next section, I’ll show you step-by-step how you can use permethrin cream.

I have already shared a post related to this topic: Itchy Skin When Sweating. I hope you read this post.

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Table of Contents

How to use permethrin cream?

This medicine is only used on the skin. Apply this medication after the doctor prescribes it. Apply for the medicine from your head to the bottoms of your feet, including under the nails and in skin toes, as directed. Massage the cream into your skin. Do not use more medicine than prescribed.

Avoid getting the cream into your mouth, nose, eyes, or vagina. If the medication gets into your eyes, flush the eyes with lots of water. Consult with the doctor if irritation persists.

Before I add more, let me reveal what happens if you leave permethrin cream too long.

What happens if you leave permethrin cream on too long?

Skin irritation, including itching, swelling, and redness, occurs with scabies and worsens after permethrin treatment. Mild burning and stinging also occur. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of those side effects continue or worsen.

Let’s go over some of Permethrin’s possible side effects…

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Side effects

There are some side effects of Permethrin:

  • Mild burning and stinging
  • Skin swelling
  • Skin redness
  • Skin rash
  • Itching

This document does not include all possible side effects, and others can occur. Check with the physician for additional information about side effects.

Let’s think of this scenario: What Happens If Permethrin Is Not Washed Off? Well, the answer to this question is given in the next section.

Also see: Redness And Swelling After Vaccination In Adults

What Happens If Permethrin Is Not Washed Off?

Permethrin is an anti-parasite medication. In addition, Permethrin treats head lice and scabies. It may also be used for other perspectives not listed in this guide.

But what happens if Permethrin is not washed off? You should not use this medication if you’re sensitive to Permethrin or chrysanthemums.

If Permethrin is not washed off for a long time or even after 14 hours, it may cause several side effects such as: 

  • Mild burning and stinging
  • Skin swelling
  • Skin redness
  • Skin rash
  • Itching

It can also cause short-term side effects in sensitive individuals, including eye, skin, nose, and throat irritation, including breathing problems.

Another thing you should know is: What is the dosage of Permethrin? Then, I will reveal the recommended dosage of Permethrin.

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What are dosages of permethrin?

  • Cream:5%
  • Liquid:1%
  • Lotion:1%

Dosage Considerations Given as  Follows:


  • Cream: Apply to your head to toe, leave on for 9-14 hours, rinse; can reapply in 7 days if live insects reappear
  • The single application is curative

Head Lice and Nits (Eggs)

  • Lotion/liquid: apply to your washed hair, leave on 9-10 minutes, wash and clean out eggs; may repeat in 7 days if insects or nits still present
  • The single application is usually curative.

Scabies and Head Lice, Pediatric

Children under two months

  • Safety and effectiveness not established

Children over two months

  • Scabies: Apply the head to toe; leave on for 8-14 hours, clean; may reapply in 7 days if live insects reappear; single application curative
  • Head Lice and Nits: Apply lotion/cream to washed hair, leave on 9-10 min, wash and clean out nits and eggs; may repeat in 7 days if lice or nits still present; single application curative.

Along with this, here I am also speaking about precautions before taking Permethrin medication.

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Before using permethrin medication, tell your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to it; or have other allergies. This product includes inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell the doctor or pharmacist about your skin infections and asthma history.

Repeated or forceful scratching of the skin and scalp can lead to a bacterial skin infection. Tell your doctor if you develop worsening pus or redness.

Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. This drug passes in your breast milk but is harms a nursing infant. Consult with a doctor before breastfeeding.

In case you are not aware of such things, I am sharing with you all possible drug interactions of permethrin medication.


Your pharmacist may be aware of all possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not stop or change the medicine dosage before checking with your doctor or pharmacist.

Before using and applying this medication on your skin, tell your doctor of all prescription and herbal products you may use.

For now, let’s look at some warnings for using Permethrin products.

Warnings for permethrin

This medicine contains Permethrin. Do not take Elimite, Nix, or Acticin if you are allergic to Permethrin or any ingredients contained in this drug.

If you overdose, get medical help or contact a nearby poison control center immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Permethrin harmful to humans?

Permethrin is a pyrethroid that can be ingested or absorbed through the skin. Depending on the formulation, Permethrin is non-toxic to the moderately toxic pesticide. However, short-term side effects in sensitive individuals include eye, skin, nose, throat irritation, and breathing problems.

What is Permethrin used for?

Permethrin is an anti-parasite medication. Permethrin topical (for the skin) treats head lice and scabies.

Is Permethrin 5% safe?

Permethrin, a 5% cream, is effective, safe, and well-tolerated for treating scabies in children older than 2 months of age. Guidelines recommend 7% sulfur for younger infants.

Can I use Permethrin every day?

Permethrin lotion can be applied on the skin in one or two treatments, but sometimes three are necessary. For example, if live mites are seen after 14 days, then third treatments are essential.

Now, looking forward to storage information of permethrin products.


Store at room temperature in 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from light and rain. Please do not put it in the bathroom. Keep all medicines aside from children and pets.

Consult with your doctor, pharmacist, or local waste disposal company for further details about how to discard your product safely.

Let me know if you know any other tips that allow you to treat yourself the fastest way possible.

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3 thoughts on “What Happens If You Leave Permethrin Cream On Too Long? | What Happens If Permethrin Is Not Washed Off?”

    1. A lice-killing lotion containing 1% permethrin or a mousse pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide can be used to treat pubic lice.

      To use permethrin cream, follow these steps:
      Leave the cream on the skin for up to 8-14 hours.
      After 8-14 hours, wash the skin with water.
      Wear clean clothes.
      Note: After treatment, itching may continue for up to 4 weeks.

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