If you are suffering from a persistent red rashes all over the body that is either itchy or painful (sometimes both) then chances are that you may be suffering from scabies. This article will provide a brief overview of the condition and will suggest some common home remedies to get relief fast.
What Causes Scabies?
Scabies is a highly contagious skin infection caused by a mite with the scientific name of Sarcoptes Scabiei. These mites burrow under the epidermis and may survive by feeding on the skin cells for up to a month. If untreated, they may reproduce making the condition even more serious.
This condition is prevalent among children and young adults. Scabies can be transmitted from an infected person to someone who is not infected by direct physical contact. If one gets infected with scabies, that person can trigger a major outbreak in crowded areas, such as hospitals and day care centers. Scabies may be transmitted via sexual contact as well!
Common Symptoms of Scabies
Scabies appear as a rash the produces small red bumps, which look very similar to a mosquito bite. However, they are accompanied by a persistent itch which can soon become extremely painful as well. If left untreated, these bumps before more inflamed, ultimately turning into pus-filled blisters.
Scabies may appear all over the body, including but not limited to:
- The space between the fingers
- Shoulder blades
- Under the breasts
- Genital area
- Soles of the feet
Home Remedies for Scabies
As mentioned earlier, scabies is a very common skin affliction and your local pharmacy will probably be riddled with a laundry-list of over-the-counter and prescription-strength medications. However, there are several natural remedies, which are not very intrusive but are still highly effective to eliminate scabies without requiring you to opt for doctor prescribed treatments.
- Tea Tree Oil
You may be forgiven for thinking that our website may be funded (we are not!) by a tea tree oil lobby, because of the sheer number of times it shows up as a possible remedy for a wide variety of skin afflictions. Feel free to do your independent research, but at the end of the day you will find that tea tree oil is indeed a potent remedy for a wide variety of skin conditions, including scabies.
Using tea tree oil will cure you of your scabies because:
- It balances the pH level of your skin by making it slightly acidic. Not only does your skin become healthy, but it also makes the environment extremely inhospitable for the scabies parasite.
- Tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol which directly attacks and eliminates the scabies parasite.
- The anti-microbial properties of tea tree oil will protect the affected area from secondary infections.
Following are the ways by which you can use tea tree oil to cure your scabies:
- Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water and but about 12 drops of tea tree oil in it. Soak yourself in this water for at least 15 minutes, two times a day.
- Mix tea tree oil with olive oil in a 1:1 ratio. Apply this to an unaffected part of your skin, to ensure that your skin is not overtly sensitive to it. If it is, you may increase the content of olive oil, however the ratio of tea tree oil to olive oil should not exceed 1:2, for the treatment to be effective. Now apply the mixture to the affected areas with a cotton ball. Do not wash the area and allow your skin to soak the mixture, so that it may eliminate the scabies parasite.
Both of the above methods should get rid of the scabies infection in a few weeks. Please note that tea tree oil is extremely harsh in an undiluted form and you should never apply it to your scabies without diluting it first. Also, tea tree oil should never be orally ingested under any circumstances.
- Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide
Borax and hydrogen peroxide can be combined to form a highly effective treatment for scabies. Borax is a natural insecticide and fungicide. Hydrogen peroxide is a known anti-bacterial agent. When used together, they will kill the scabies parasite and also reduce the chances of secondary infection in the inflamed area. Following is how you apply the treatment:
- Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water.
- Mix two cups of borax and one cup of hydrogen peroxide.
- Soak yourself in this bath for at least 15 minutes.
Take this bath at least once a day and your condition should improve within weeks!
- Clove oil
Besides having known anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, clove oil is also an analgesic, which relieves the almost insatiable itch that accompanies a scabies infection. However, anecdotal evidence suggest that it will burn your skin if you use it in an undiluted form. Following is how you apply the treatment:
- Take one tablespoon of olive oil and add it to 4 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil. If you cannot get hold of any coconut oil, you may replace it with olive oil, however the treatment will lose a bit of its potency as the lauric acid in coconut oil makes it a strong anti-bacterial in its own right.
- Apply this mixture to the affected area and let the skin absorb it naturally.
Your condition should improve within two weeks.
Yes, the humble onion, which is a staple in most kitchens around the world can cure a scabies infection as well. This is because of a couple of reasons:
- Onions contain quercetin, which is a known analgesic that will relieve the symptoms of an itch.
- Onion is also extremely rich in organosulfur compounds, which will directly attack and eliminate the scabies parasite.
There are a few ways by which you can use onion to treat scabies:
- Take a piece of onion, and chop it up in a few whole pieces and put it in a bowl. Sprinkle some salt on it and then cover the bowl. Apply the resulting juice using a cotton ball on the affected area.
- Take an onion and put it in the mixer and turn it on for a few seconds. Take the resulting paste in muslin cloth and squeeze all the juice out. Apply it on the inflamed area.
- Take about 8 onions and boil them in a quart of water. Let the water cool down to room temperature and apply it on the infected area.
Bleach contains chlorine, which is a known disinfectant that will kill the mite that is causing the infection in the first place. Following is how you apply the treatment:
- Take a large container. Pour one cup of bleach in it, followed by three cups of water. Mix it thoroughly.
- Take a cotton ball and apply liberal quantities of this solution on the affected area. Let it dry naturally.
- Take a shower afterwards.
Bleach is extremely corrosive in an undiluted form and you should not touch it without diluting it first. Even after you dilute it, it should never reach your eyes and you should not ingest it either. If it reaches your eyes by any chance, rinse your eyes repeatedly with fresh water. If you suffer from any blurred vision then you should immediately visit the emergency room!
Turmeric is an herb with strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can wreak havoc on the scabies parasite and also protects the area against secondary infections. There are several different ways by which you can use turmeric to combat scabies:
- Using Turmeric and Neem Oil:
- Take a 1 tablespoon of turmeric and add a few drops of neem oil to it.
- Mix it thoroughly to form a smooth paste.
- Apply this paste on the affected area and let it dry naturally. This should have about an hour.
- Take a moist piece of cloth and scrape of the dried turmeric paste.
- Take a shower.
- Using Turmeric and Neem Powder:
- Take 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and one tablespoon of neem powder and mix it thoroughly.
- Add a few drops of water to form a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste and wash it off, the same way it was mentioned in the turmeric and neem oil treatment.
- Using Turmeric and Lemon Juice:
- Take one tablespoon of turmeric powder and add a few drops of lemon juice to it to form a smooth paste.
- Apply this paste on the infection and let it dry naturally. This should take about 1 hour.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- White Vinegar
White vinegar contains acetic acid, which reduced the pH level of your skin making it more acidic. As mentioned earlier in this article, a slightly acidic pH level is fantastic for your skin but it makes your skin toxic for the scabies parasite, eventually killing it.
Following is how you would use white vinegar to treat your scabies:
- Mix white vinegar and fresh water in a 1:1 ratio.
- Apply the solution to the affected area with a cotton ball.
- Leave it on for about five minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
This treatment can be applied for up to three times a day. You should notice a visible difference within a few days, with the infection being completely eliminated in two weeks!
- Bush Tea
Bush tea (Lippia multiflora) is an herb that is native to Africa, but is now available in health food stores all around the world. Bush tea is rich in flavonoids, which is great for your skin in general. It also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which will help you get rid of your scabies infection from the inside.
Boil some water in the kettle, in the meantime grab a cup and a strained filled with organic bush tea leaves. Once the water is boiling hot, pour some through the strainer into the cup. Feel free to add a tablespoon of honey as a sweetner. Consume this tea at least three times every day!
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is another herb that can be used to make a highly potent cure for scabies. Rosemary contains cineole and alpha – pinene, two highly potent terpenoids with anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that will protect the affected area against secondary infection and will help reduce the pain and the itchy sensations. It also contains camphor, a known astringent that will make the affected area extremely inhospitable for the scabies parasite.
Make some rosemary tea, the same way you would make the bush tea, as mentioned earlier. As you will not be consuming it, there is no need to add honey. Allow the tea to cool down to the room temperature and then apply it to the affected area with some cotton balls. You can apply this for up to three times every day.
The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is native to the Indian subcontinent and has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. It is a natural emollient, which means it has soothing properties that can provide you some welcome relief from the incessant itch caused by scabies. Scientific studies have verified neem’s anti-microbial properties, which can prevent the areas of scabies infestation from succumbing to secondary infections. Anecdotal evidence suggests that besides increasing the effectiveness of the turmeric treatment, neem is a potent remedy for scabies in its own right.
- Using neem oil: There are a couple of different ways by which you can use neem oil to treat your scabies:
- Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and add about 10 drops of neem oil to it. Soak yourself in this water for at least 15 minutes. Feel free to take the neem bath for at least two times every day.
- Make a paste by combining it with turmeric powder, as mentioned earlier in this article.
- You can dilute neem oil with olive oil and apply that to the scabies infestation as well. Although you might find a few internet resources (of questionable reputation) asking you to apply neem oil directly to your scabies infection, please do not do that. This is because neem oil is extremely strong and may elicit a very harsh reaction, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Using neem leaves: There are a couple of ways by which you can use neem leaves as well:
- Take a handful of neem leaves and boil them in water. Let the water cool down to room temperature. Drink one tablespoon of this liquid (ignore the bitter taste) at least four times every day. You should also apply this water to the affected area with a cotton ball and let it dry naturally.
- Throw some neem leaves in the blender, add a couple of tablespoons of water and then turn the blender on for a few seconds to make a smooth paste. Apply this paste to the affected area and let it dry naturally. Take a shower (or a neem bath) afterwards. You can also combine the neem leave paste with turmeric powder to make the treatment even more effective.
- Lavender Oil
There is scientific and anecdotal evidence of lavender oil being extremely effective in killing off the scabies parasite. It also helps in skin regeneration; allowing you to shed the infected skin cells. There are a few different ways by which you can use lavender oil to treat your scabies:
- Mix equal parts of lavender oil with olive oil and apply that to the affected area. Allow your skin to soak the oil and do not rinse the area until it is absolutely necessary. You can apply this treatment several times during the course of the day.
- You can also combine lavender oil with an equal part of rubbing alcohol. As rubbing alcohol is an extremely strong astringent, it will make the infected area even more inhospitable for the scabies parasite. Rubbing alcohol will also protect the area against secondary infections. Apply this treatment twice every day.
- Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and add five drops of lavender oil in it and soak yourself in this water for about fifteen minutes. Taking this bath daily will help you get rid of scabies within a few weeks.
- Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd is another treatment that helps heal your scabies from the inside. It is rich in vitamins B & C, folate, magnesium, manganese, zinc and phosphorus, which has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Through a bitter gourd in the blender, take out the mush and squeeze it to extract the juice. As the name suggests, it is going to be extremely bitter, but you can make it slightly easier on your palette by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice. Anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking this once a day will help you get rid of the scabies parasite in a week!
- Cayenne Pepper
If you do not have sensitive skin, then you can use cayenne pepper to implement a very aggressive treatment against the scabies parasite. Cayenne pepper will burn the mites without having an adverse effect on your skin. Following is how you apply the treatment:
- Fill a bathtub with hot water and add a cup of cayenne pepper to it.
- Soak yourself in this water for as long as you possibly can, preferably till the water goes cold. Take special care so that you do not undergo any sudden movements that will get this water in your eyes. The burning sensation will be unbearably painful.
- Take a shower afterwards.
Taking a cayenne pepper bath, once a day will help you get rid of your scabies in a week!
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is not only helpful for treating sunburn and acne, but it can help get rid of you scabies outbreak as well! Not only will it soothe the itchy inflammations and protect the area from secondary infections, a study conducted by the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Ile-Ife, Nigeria in 2009 demonstrated that Aloe is as effective as benzyl benzoate, which is a common over the counter treatment for scabies. Following are a couple of ways you can apply this treatment:
- Get hold of some aloe leaves, chop off the rinds to take the leaves apart. Scrape the gel and apply that directly to the affected area. Leave it on for about thirty minutes and then wash it off with some lukewarm water. If you apply this treatment for at least three times every day, you will be able to get rid of the scabies parasite in a few weeks!
- Take two tablespoons of aloe, add a pinch of turmeric powder and some calendula petals to it. Calendula is an herb known for anti-microbial properties which can significantly increase the potency of the Aloe Vera treatment. Mix the components thoroughly to create a uniform paste. Apply this paste to the affected areas and let it dry naturally, then rinse the area with some lukewarm water. This treatment is highly recommended for advanced cases of scabies treatment, especially if some of the blisters have popped to create open sores!
If you are unable to procure any aloe leaves, then kindly purchase a tub of organic aloe gel from your local drugstore.
If the itch continuous for more than 2 weeks don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. There are strong over the counter products available to treat the problem fast.