I’m back home after fleeing for a week to let the scabies mites die in my absence, after treating myself a second time with permethrin. After some worrying false alarms caused by scratching provoking old rash areas to temporarily inflame (only to calm down in a matter of hours), I’m at the point of being on the optimistic side. Though it’s probably going to be a while before I cease worrying completely about reinfection, given how hard it was to get rid of the infection.
I have yet to figure out how, absent a good measure of luck, one is supposed to ditch the buggers without doing as I did. The insecticidal ointment is intended to be applied before bedtime, left on for 8 to 14 hours, and washed off in the morning. Given that, there’s really not enough time to do the thorough cleaning you’re supposed to do while you’re toxic to the mites.
Which leaves two options for performing the cleaning, both of them unacceptable: Attempt to do the cleaning prior to treatment, and risk infecting what you are attempting to clean, or do the cleaning after treatment, and risk reinfecting yourself.