Last update July 17, 2023


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

It is a cutaneous infestation due to a parasite (Sarcoptes scabiei). Highly contagious through a close and maintained contact.

Scabies is not transmitted through breast milk.

At diagnosis in the mother or infant it is highly probable that both are affected which is a reason for regarding separation as be useless.

If scabies is diagnosed at the time of delivery, it is advisable to isolate the newborn from the mother for the first day while the treatment dose is taking effect, maintaining breastfeeding by hand expression or breast pumping and feeding the newborn the expressed milk.

Treatment used in the mother with topical Permethrin, Benzyl benzoate or oral Ivermectin is compatible with breastfeeding. One application of Permethrin or one oral dose of Ivermectin are both considered to be curative. (Weill 2021, Elston 2013, UKMI 2012, Sánchez 2007

Permethrin is preferred for infants, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. (Red Book 2021-24 p664, Porto 2003); other authors prefer Crotamiton. (Morin 1994)

See below the information of these related products:

  • Bencyl Benzoate (Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.)
  • Ivermectin ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Lindane ( Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T ½ (elimination half-lives). Read the Comment.)
  • Permethrin ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Scabies is also known as

Scabies in other languages or writings:


  1. Workowski KA, Bachmann LH, Chan PA, Johnston CM, Muzny CA, Park I, Reno H, Zenilman JM, Bolan GA. Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2021 Jul 23;70(4):1-187. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Weill A, Bernigaud C, Mokni M, Gil S, Elefant E, Chosidow O. Scabies-infested pregnant women: A critical therapeutic challenge. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jan 7;15(1):e0008929. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. (Red Book). AAP. Kimberlin DW, Barnett ED, , Lynfield R, Sawyer MH eds. Red Book: 2021-2024. Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 32th ed. Elk Grove Village, - 2021
  4. Elston CA, Elston DM. Treatment of common skin infections and infestations during pregnancy. Dermatol Ther. 2013 Abstract
  5. UKMi. Wales. Scabies. Questions and Answers. UK Medicines Information 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Sánchez-Largo Uceda ME, Sanz Robles H, García Romero D, Zarco C. [Neonatal scabies]. An Pediatr (Barc). 2007 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  7. Porto I. Antiparasitic drugs and lactation: focus on anthelmintics, scabicides, and pediculicides. J Hum Lact. 2003 Abstract
  8. [No authors listed] Ivermectin: new indication. Oral treatment of scabies: simple and effective. Prescrire Int. 2002 Oct;11(61):137-40. Abstract
  9. Fölster-Holst R, Rufli T, Christophers E. [Treatment of scabies with special consideration of the approach in infancy, pregnancy and while nursing]. Hautarzt. 2000 Abstract
  10. Quarterman MJ, Lesher JL Jr. Neonatal scabies treated with permethrin 5% cream. Pediatr Dermatol. 1994 Abstract
  11. Morin AK, Stoukides CA. Scabicides and pediculicides and breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 1994 Abstract

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