17 Home Remedies for Scabies
Scabies is an infectious skin condition which can be easily passed on from person to person. It’s often very common among the homeless and people who live in very tight spaces of cramped conditions. The itchy rash is caused by bites from scabies itch mites, which are miniscule eight-legged female parasites. Luckily, home remedies for scabies can help to kill the mites and treat the symptoms caused by them.
The mites bite the skin and burrow into it, which causes extensive itching. Once they get under your skin the mites create tunnels in which they can leave their eggs. As the eggs hatch, the mite larvae begin to work their way out of the skin.
In areas, with more healthcare, a scabies infection can be very dangerous as the maturing larvae may make their way to other parts of the body and damage your organs.
Symptoms of Scabies
The symptoms of scabies aren’t very pleasant and are largely uncomfortable. They include the following:
How Does It Spread?
Scabies is spread through physical contact with the mites. This can occur through skin to skin contact with infected people or furniture, bedding or clothing carrying the mites.
Home Remedies for Scabies
Cayenne pepper is a great home remedy for scabies and is often used to alleviate the pain the infection causes. It contains capsaicin which is well known for its ability to relieve pain as it desensitizes the neurons in your skin. Some patients do experience a burning sensation when applying a cayenne pepper mixture to the skin, so it’s best to use in small amounts, to begin with, to check that you don’t experience any negative side effects.
To use cayenne pepper to soothe your scabies infection, try adding a cup to your bathwater and sit in the bath until it becomes cold. Make sure to rinse your body afterward. You can also grind cayenne pepper into a paste with a few drops of water and apply this to your skin.
Applying tiger balm to your skin is another great way to reduce inflammation and soothe your scabies infection. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe muscle aches and pain so although the balm won’t completely kill off a scabies infection, it will help to provide some relief from the itching and aches while you use other treatments.
Anise Seed Oil
The oil extracted from anise seeds makes another great home remedy for scabies. Apply the oil directly to your skin once a day and you should notice your condition improve over time. It’s not recommended for use by women who a pregnant.
Neem oil is known to be able to kill itch mites and prevent them from growing or breeding. It can also be applied directly to the skin to relieve itching.
A study from 2016 found that clove oil was able to kill itch mites in just one hour. The oil has analgesic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties so it’s no surprise it makes such an effective home remedy for scabies!
Try mixing ten drops of clove oil with a teaspoon of honey and the same amount of coconut oil and massage into your rash. Applying the mixture twice a day should help clear up your infection.
Rosemary oil has a number of helpful benefits, one of which is its ability to soothe the pain of scabies infection. It also helps to prevent a secondary infection from developing thanks to its potent antibacterial properties.
Tea Tree Oil
When diluted and applied directly to your skin, tea tree oil is great for fighting scabies. It holds antimicrobial properties which help to fight the infection and heal the scabies rash.
Turmeric can be used as a home remedy for scabies both on its own and when mixed with neem oil, so you can use it in whichever way you prefer. You could also mix it with a small amount of lemon juice to form a paste. Apply this paste to your skin and leave it to rest for five minutes before washing it off with clean water.
To use white vinegar as a home remedy for scabies, simple mix equal amounts of the vinegar with some water and apply directly to your skin using a cotton wool ball or pad. Let the mixture sit on your skin for five minutes and then rinse off with fresh warm water. If you do this three times a day over a ten-day period your infection should disappear thanks to the acidic nature of the vinegar.
Aloe vera has a number of health benefits and is often used as a home remedy for many different conditions. Simple apply fresh aloe gel directly to your skin and this will soothe the itching. You can either let the gel soak in or let it sit for half an hour before rinsing with warm water. Regular use over three days should be enough to clear your infection.
Bleaching your skin with natural bleaching agents can help to kill itch mites and clear your scabies infection. Simple mix one-part bleaching agent with four-parts water and spray onto your skin twice a day. Repeating this application for a few days should help your skin to repair itself and kill off the mites and their larvae.
Curd is packed full of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to fight infection. Its high levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B2 and B12 should help to provide some relief from the itching and reduce the rash. Include more curd into your diet to see an improvement.
Although zinc isn’t considered to be a direct home remedy for scabies it can help to reduce the risk of a secondary infection. Including more zinc heavy foods into your diet will help the open scabies wounds to heal and so prevents secondary infections from occurring.
Wash Clothes in Hot Water
Any clothes or bedding that you’ve used whilst infected need to be washed thoroughly in hot water. This will remove any mites that have clung to and survived in the fabric and will prevent them from spreading. It will also reduce your risk of secondary infection.
Borax mostly used in household cleaning products, like laundry washes, but some people have claimed that it can help to treat scabies. However, some people question whether it’s totally safe for use on humans. Whilst you should avoid applying borax directly to your skin it could be worth adding it to your laundry to help kill any mites.
Similarly to washing your clothes and bedding, vacuuming your house will rid the fabrics and carpets in your house from any mites. As such it will greatly reduce your risk of secondary infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people also believe that apple cider vinegar is useful for treating scabies. This is likely to be because, like white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic. However, these claims are often disputed as there is little scientific evidence to prove its usefulness.
Which of these home remedies for scabies will you try? Do you know any others? Comment below!
Scabies mite picture by Flickr user Micah MacAllen.