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What is scabies?
Scabies rash is a skin condition that is caused by tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites burrow into your skin and cause itching and discomfort. They can cause rashes, redness, and blisters on the skin. Scabies won’t go away without treatment and it’s highly contagious. The female scabies mite burrows under the skin and lays eggs. The eggs hatch a few days later and move to the skin surface and begin the cycle again.
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.
Tea tree oil is an effective topical treatment for scabies since it relieves itching and heals the rash on the skin, but it doesn’t work as well on the eggs deeper in the skin. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to a squirt bottle, and spray it on your bedding.
A review of studies from
Tea tree oil is:
- acaricidal (able to kill mites)
- antipruritic (relieves itching)
Neem oil, soaps, and creams can be a useful alternative treatment for scabies. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and analgesic properties.
The active components of neem have been
Aloe vera gel has a soothing, healing effect on sunburned skin. It can also alleviate itching and kill scabies. A
This was a small study testing only 16 people with aloe vera, so larger sample sizes are needed. If you use aloe vera gel, ensure that you’re buying pure aloe vera gel with absolutely no additives.
Cayenne pepper can be used to relieve pain and itching from scabies. Some people believe it can also kill the scabies mite, but scientific evidence for this is lacking. The capsaicin in cayenne desensitizes the neurons in the skin when it’s applied topically. A study from
Clove oil has antimicrobial, anesthetic, and antioxidant properties that contribute to its healing powers. It’s also an effective insecticidal. One study published in
Though research is mostly anecdotal, the following essential oils are recommended to treat scabies:
- anise seed
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.
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.