Scabies is an infestation of small mites that burrow into the skin and cause itchy rashes. People with scabies need medical treatment to get rid of the mites. Sometimes an individual can become resistant to the treatment so may wish to try at-home remedies as well.
Many traditional treatments for scabies can cause serious side effects. Some people do not respond to these treatments and can develop a resistance. Therefore, you may wish to use natural home remedies to treat your scabies.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical concerns please check with your doctor before using any of the remedies.
The most common symptoms of scabies include:
- red and irritated skin
- extreme itchiness, particularly in the evening or night.
It is also possible that a person will notice:
- tiny bites or bumps
- trails where the mites burrowed into the skin
- sores from scratching
14 home remedies for scabies
Anyone trying a home remedy for scabies should consult a doctor if the infestation does not clear up or show signs of improving.
1. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil may help to relieve some of the symptoms of scabies.
Tea tree oil is a well-known essential oil. In some studies, it has shown some promise as being effective in the treatment of scabies. Additional studies are still needed, however.
Tea tree oil can help alleviate some of the itchiness associated with scabies, in addition to other treatments.
The oil has not been found to be effective against the eggs that are buried deep within the skin.
Tea tree oil can be purchased online. Some people are allergic to tea tree oil. People who are allergic should not use tea tree oil for scabies and should find an alternative method.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is well-known for its soothing effect on sunburn and other skin ailments. Aloe vera is usually considered safe to use with minimal side effects reported. Aloe vera gel can be purchased online.
One small study has shown that aloe vera is effective in treating scabies. It was, in fact, found to be as effective as a prescription drug called benzyl benzoate.
More research is required to fully test the effects of aloe vera in the treatment of scabies.
Neem is an oil. It can be found in creams and ointments available online. Neem has analgesic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
There have been some studies that suggest that neem is effective in treating scabies because it kills the mites.
One study tested the effects of neem on dogs. Most of the dogs were cured of scabies within 2 weeks of consistently using shampoo that contained neem. The dogs that did not fully recover saw big improvements in the total number of mites left in their skin.
Additional studies on humans are needed to test neem’s effectiveness as a treatment for scabies in humans.
4. Clove oil
A single study showed that clove oil was effective in treating scabies in a group of rabbits and pigs. Other oils tested did not perform as well as clove oil.
Again, this is a case where additional studies need to be done to fully test whether or not clove oil is effective on scabies when the mites occur in humans.
Though research is mostly anecdotal, the following essential oils are recommended to treat scabies:
5. Cayenne pepper
Capsaicin, found in cayenne peppers, is thought to help alleviate pain and itchiness.
Cayenne pepper has not been proven effective in treating scabies. Nevertheless, some people believe that it is an effective treatment against the mites.
Cayenne pepper does have some usefulness when it comes to scabies, despite some controversy.
According to one study, capsaicin, a compound found in cayenne pepper, desensitizes the skin when it is applied directly. This can help alleviate some of the pain and itchiness associated with scabies.
Creams with capsaicin are available to purchase online. Speak to a doctor before using these products.
Little evidence supports the effectiveness of turmeric in treating scabies. However, some people claim that it is effective in alleviating the symptoms.
Treating the symptoms will not stop or cure the infestation, so other methods of treatment will still be required.
Zinc is not a direct treatment for scabies. Instead, people recommend using zinc to help fight off secondary infections that may result from the open skin wounds that can result from a person scratching.
8. Wash clothes in hot water
Though not a direct treatment for the infection, an individual should wash any clothing, bedding, or other fabric that has come in contact with them or their skin if they have scabies. This will remove mites hiding in the fabric and help prevent them spreading to other areas of their body or other individuals.
Borax or sodium borate is controversial at best. It is mostly used in household cleaning products, such as laundry washes.
Though some people claim it can help with scabies, others question it is safe to use for humans.
It should not be used directly on the skin, but it may be effective in a person’s laundry when trying to eliminate the scabies mites.
Though it may kill the mites, bleach is a harsh chemical and should always be diluted and treated with great care.
It can also damage a person’s skin, eyes, and lungs. Again, it should only be used as a cleaning product and should not come into contact with the skin itself.
Similarly to washing clothes, vacuuming the house will not cure the infestation that is affecting an individual. However, vacuuming up any mites that could be in floor coverings will help prevent scabies from spreading to other people.
12 Apple cider vinegar
Much has been written about apple cider vinegar, and some believe it may be effective in treating scabies. There is little evidence to back up the claims, however.
13. White vinegar
Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water thoroughly in a bowl. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution on the affected skin and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Repeat three times daily for 10 to 15 days to fight the infection completely. White vinegar has an acidic nature which helps to change the pH levels of skin and the changes in pH levels cause mites to die.
14. curd and fishes
Curd is loaded with several essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. Including curd and fish in your diet could prove to be a relief from all the itchiness and rashes.
Scabies may be spread through sexual contact.
Scabies is highly contagious and can be spread through:
long periods of skin to skin contact
sharing clothes, sheets, and towels
Anyone in direct contact with someone who has scabies is at risk of developing an infestation. Sexual partners, friends, and family members are at high risk of developing the condition.
Crowded conditions are another risk factor. Some places scabies can quickly spread include:
The scabies mite can survive for up to four days when not on a human host, so it’s important to treat your home to prevent a reinfestation. Wash all bedding, clothes, and towels in hot water (122°F or 50°C), and dry them in a hot dryer. Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in plastic bags for at least five days. If multiple people live in a home where an infection was discovered, everyone should go through the same cleaning routine, regardless of whether they were actually bitten.
When to see a doctor
Do not expect to get rid of scabies rash immediately. It will take some time, and the itching may persist after as the rash starts to heal. However, if you are still experiencing symptoms after a few weeks of treatment you should see a doctor. Your doctor may determine for certain if you have scabies by doing a skin test. Your doctor may prescribe a cream to use. More serious cases may require prescription pills.
Scabies will not heal overnight and you may experience itching for quite some time. Practicing healthy habits during your treatment may help you see results faster. Get some extra rest and exercise if you can. Eat as healthily as possible since all of these factors will help you to get better sooner.
Be mindful of the fact that scabies is contagious and take measures to ensure you do not infect others. Focus on getting better each day and taking the best possible care of yourself.