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  1. #1

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    Permethrin and underwear?

    I am getting ready to treat my clothes with permethrin. I love the stuff, and it worked well for me last year, but I don't remember if I sprayed underwear or not. Do you spray underwear? It is allegedly safe for pants and shirts when dry, so I can't imagine why underwear wouldn't work, but it seems a little scary somehow. My thought is that any ticks that wanted to wander up legs to find a home in the nether regions may crawl under contact with shorts. A somewhat tighter fitting leg of a boxer brief would really form a tick barrier. Generally speaking, I am more afraid of ticks than chemicals, but I would appreciate your thoughts.

  2. #2
    I would think it should be safe. The likelihood of them going past properly treated pants, shirt, etc. to "the nether region" would be negligable IMHO.

    Go for it...just let the rest of us know if your junk drops out the bottom of your trouser on the trail mid hike.


  3. #3
    Senior Member nyhiker50's Avatar
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    Why would you spray your underwear? For chiggers maybe? It's only meant to be used on outer clothing, not really next to the skin. I would just spray everything else. As for chiggers, they would be repelled from the outside spraying on the clothing. ticks in most cases would try to go as high as possible, but getting past pants would be hard. If you're really worried, just tuck in your socks.

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    subscribing........just for it's potential to be "thread of the year"

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  5. #5
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    The Sawyer brand treatments say specifically not to treat underwear in the warnings section of the container label.

    That being said, I always try to get the bottom cuffs and waistband on my compression shorts. Neither of those is going to be pressing against a mucous membrane (which is what I think is the issue; otherwise, you wouldn't be able to treat the cuffs on your shirt or pants, or the shoulder area on your shirt, seeing as how those press against your skin regardless), so I feel pretty safe about it.

    No ticks or chiggers in...delicate...spots yet...
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
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  6. #6
    dangerous's Avatar
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    I use Permethrin all the time on my military uniforms. The treatment systmes we get issued specifically state that it is for outerwear only. It specifially says not to treat headwear. I have never treated socks or underwear either but I always treat my t-shirts.
    Last edited by dangerous; 05-15-2013 at 08:13.
    -Jon-
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  7. #7
    dangerous's Avatar
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    taken from treatment manual
    • To avoid adverse health reactions, do not treat underwear or
    caps/hats. Do not allow permethrin to contact your face or
    eyes and try not to breathe in spray vapors. Wear rubber
    gloves when handling wet, treated uniforms and when
    mixing permethrin solutions. Permethrin can be very toxic to
    fish and aquatic organisms; do not let excess permethrin
    contaminate local water sources.

    http://deploymenthealthlibrary.fhp.o...ile?prodId=242
    -Jon-
    Beware of the man who owns one gun, he probably shoots it well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerous View Post
    taken from treatment manual
    • To avoid adverse health reactions, do not treat underwear or
    caps/hats. Do not allow permethrin to contact your face or
    eyes and try not to breathe in spray vapors. Wear rubber
    gloves when handling wet, treated uniforms and when
    mixing permethrin solutions. Permethrin can be very toxic to
    fish and aquatic organisms; do not let excess permethrin
    contaminate local water sources.

    http://deploymenthealthlibrary.fhp.o...ile?prodId=242
    I'm done for. I have treated my hats for several years. Zero problems so far. But I guess I should not be surprised if my ears suddenly fall off.

    But, there is a prescription treatment for head lice/scabies that is FIVE %:
    http://www.rxlist.com/elimite-drug/i...ons-dosage.htm
    Thoroughly massage ELIMITE® (permethrin) 5% Cream into the skin from the head to the soles of the feet. Scabies rarely infests the scalp of adults, although the hairline, neck, temple, and forehead may be infested in infants and geriatric patients. Usually 30 grams is sufficient for an average adult. The cream should be removed by washing (shower or bath) after 8 to 14 hours. Infants should be treated on the scalp, temple, and forehead. ONE APPLICATION IS GENERALLY CURATIVE........ Demonstrable living mites after 14 days indicate that retreatment is necessary.
    So, I spray my clothing including hats with 0.5% and let it dry, whereupon it is supposed to take 6 washings to remove it all from the clothing. Which makes me think it will not easily leave my clothing to be absorbed through my skin, though it might to some degree. Then I occasionally wear that clothing while I am hiking or maybe camping.

    As opposed to this medical treatment, where 10X the concentration is left- wet(cream) - in direct contact with the skin, given 14 hours to soak in after being massaged in. Repeat if needed after 14 days. And comes in a pediatric and adult dosage, but both are FIVE %.

    While the usual list of possible side effects are listed as they are for any prescription drug, this dosage surely goes way past anything we could ever encounter from dry Permethrin which at least with Sawyers is supposed to be "bonded" with our clothing and resistant to removal. And apparently the 5% "massaged in to the skin" cream is considered safe enough to be used for treatment of lice, even for infants/children.

    So maybe I will live through the Permethrin I have sprayed on my hats, and even a long john top for one trip, plus all other clothing and sometimes the outside of my hammock. And hopefully whatever risk is less risk than a mossy or tick bite. But I guess you don't ever really know for sure, until sooner or later you die of something. And even then folks may still not know what got you.

    Still, hooray for Permethrin and Picaridin ( and even DEET if I can't find 15-20% Picaridin). I hope they don't ever find any risk for them that is not less danger than insect bites.

    ( PS/Edit: I see this idea was already covered in the post about Nix/1% Permethrin. But in this case it is FIVE %)
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  9. #9
    Senior Member perrito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    I treat my socks, pants and shirt, but there is no way I'm treating my underwear with permethrin. There's some sensitive skin in those areas!
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    You sensitive, if thats not an oxymoron I don't know what is.
    He's just worried that he'll have a bad dream about Reese leaving him....
    perrito

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Firetruck's Avatar
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    I'm definitely not saying we should not treat clothing with a chemical that will make our lives a little better but before I would take a chance letting something absorb into my skin and not know about it, I would just leave it alone. Case in point...we went camping a couple of years ago. A friend of mine picked up some kind of plastic bracelets that were to be worn which would wort off mosquitos, ticks, and other stuff. Well I guess he figured if 1 was good 5 would be awesome. He had one around each wrist, ankle, and put a couple together and put it around his neck. After sitting around camp for the evening he began to get nausiated and puked everything he had eaten for the last few days. No telling if he'll have long term effects. I think I'll stick to the outer wear and or hammock suspension treatment only.
    Heck 40 some odd years ago I never heard of anything to use for ticks. Just pulled off the ticks when I got home.
    "As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp..." Deuteronomy 23: 13,14

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