Scabies are tiny eight-legged female parasites. At just 1/3 millimeter long, they burrow into the skin and cause severe itching, skin rashes, redness and blisters. It’s estimated that about 300 million scabies cases occur each year throughout the world! The important scabies treatment methods and home remedies for scabies you need to know are cataloged here!
Scabies Causes and Symptoms
The itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei causes itching, skin rashes, redness and blisters. After burrowing beneath the surface of the skin, they produce a tunnel and begin to deposit eggs. Then the eggs hatch, and the mite larvae work their way to the surface of the skin.
The skin begins to itch because the body has an allergic reaction to the mites and their eggs and waste. Unfortunately, scabies mites can only be seen crawling on the surface of the skin with a magnifying glass or microscope. This can make diagnosis difficult.
7 Scabies Treatments and Home Remedies for Scabies
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper helps with scabies because it can alleviate pain associated with scabies. Cayenne contains capsaicin, a chemical that reduces pain sensations when applied to the skin. (1) Capsaicin can also relieve itching by desensitizing neurons in the skin. This property is why cayenne pepper is an excellent scabies home treatment.
Some even claim that applying cayenne pepper to the skin can kill scabies mites. There are no studies to back up these claims, however many have testified to its effectiveness.
Many add a cup of cayenne to hot bathwater, and soak in the bath until the water gets cold. Make sure the cayenne does not get into your eyes, as it may burn or sting, and rinse thoroughly afterwards.
You can also create a paste with cayenne and one to two drops of water, and apply to the skin. This is another great scabies home treatment.
2. Tiger Balm
Tiger balm is a topical cream shown to reduce inflammation and provide relief from muscle aches and pain. (2) It works as an analgesic agent because it contains camphor and clove oil. This makes tiger balm an excellent treatment for scabies.
While tiger balm won’t kill the scabies, it does provide some relief from the itching.
3. Anise Seed Oil
Oil extracted from anise seeds display insecticidal activity. Therefore, using anise seed oil as a treatment for scabies can kill the itch mites! It can be used topically to treat scabies as well as head lice. The oil is not recommended for pregnant women. (3)
4. Neem Oil
Neem oil is also known to kill scabies mites. Additionally, neem oil prevents the scabies ability to grow and breed. Finally, neem also numbs pain and relieves itching, making it one of the best scabies home remedies.
A study using a paste made from neem oil and turmeric for scabies treatment found it was an effective cure. In 97% of cases, the paste worked as a cure for scabies within three to 15 days. (4)
5. Clove Oil
Clove oil is an effective treatment for scabies because it has analgesic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The oil can be used to dry up scabies blisters and rashes.
A study tested found clove oil is highly toxic against scabies mites, killing mites within an hour of contact. A major component of clove oil, called eugenol, showed levels of toxicity comparable to benzyl benzoate. (5) For skin relief, use ten drops of clove oil with one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of coconut oil.
6. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is another one of the best home remedies for scabies. The oil can stop the infestation of scabies and decrease pain while preventing development of other infections. A study has found that when combined, rosemary and clove possess significant antimicrobial activity. (6)
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil fights scabies mites and parasites when applied to the skin. The oil contains terpenoids, which are antimicrobial constituents able to heal scabies on top of and beneath the skin. This makes tea tree oil one of the best scabies home remedies.
A study found that tea tree oil was highly effective in reducing mite survival times. Scabies mites placed in continuous direct contact with the tea tree oil product began to die within five minutes. (7)
Precautions to Take When You Have Scabies
In addition to home remedies for scabies, scabies home treatment should include the following precautions.
1. Treat All Family Members and Close Contacts
The best scabies treatment starts with protecting your loved ones. Most scabies recurrences are because of reinfection from untreated contacts.
Home remedies for scabies should also include taking care of your pets! Cats and dogs can contract scabies, which causes a temporary skin reaction and keeps the mites in your home. Contact your veterinarian about pet treatments for scabies.
2. Wash Clothing and Bedding
Immediately wash all the bedding and clothes that someone used since contracting scabies. The laundry cycle alone may not kill the mites, so make sure your drier is on the hottest setting possible.
3. Vacuum Furniture and Carpet
Don’t just vacuum the furniture and carpet at home. Be sure to throw away the vacuum bag because it may contain mites. Using a steam cleaner with borax powder can be even more effective.
4. Quarantine the Infected Person in One Small Room or Area
One of the most important home remedies for scabies is placing the affected person in quarantine. The less someone touches, the less you have to disinfect after the scabies has been treated.
5. Avoid Scratching Itchy Skin
Scratching your itchy skin does not actually provide relief because the problem is still there. In fact, scratching the infested area only makes matters worse. That’s because scratching can spread the mites across your body. This only increases the risk of a secondary skin infection.
6. Try to Minimize Stress
Stress can increase the severity of itchiness. This leads to scratching and potential skin infections. To minimize stress, try stress relievers like yoga or taking a long walk. Dealing with scabies can be difficult, but balance your mind and emotions by staying positive!
7. Eat a Healthy Diet
When dealing with scabies, having a strong immune system is key. Eat only detoxifying and anti-inflammatory foods to keep your immune system strong!
Anti-inflammatory foods also help to relieve swelling, itching and discomfort. Some of the best foods to add into your diet include leafy greens, beets, walnuts, blueberries and coconut oil.