Scabies is a highly contagious skin condition characterized by pimple-like rashes and sores on the skin, causing severe itching. Commonly appearing on the hands, legs, neck, armpits, buttocks, waist, and genitals, it is caused by a mite Sarcoptes scabiei that penetrates into the skin and lay eggs. Given below are some simple home remedies, useful for relieving the symptoms.
Natural remedies for scabies
Onion: The quercetin in onion has analgesic properties, helping in reducing itching. It also contains organosulfur compounds that may aid in eradicating the mites. Prepare a paste of onion in a mixer and place it on a muslin cloth (or any fine cloth) to extract the juice for applying on the affected regions.
Cut an onion into few pieces and put them in a bowl. Pour some salt into the bowl and cover it with a lid. Once the juice comes out, apply it on the rashes with a cotton ball.
Boil some onions in water and wash the affected areas with the infusion after it cools down to room temperature to get relief from the skin discomfort.
Neem (Margosa): Apart from having antifungal and antibacterial properties, neem has a soothing effect on the skin that reduces itching. Take a few neem leaves and make a paste using a blender or mortar and pestle. Smear the paste all over the affected areas and allow it to dry. Have a bath to rinse it off. You can also use boiled neem leaves to prepare the paste.
Boil some neem leaves in water and let it cool down to room temperature. Have 1 tablespoon of the solution 4 times a day.
Massage the affected skin with neem oil and take a bath to wash it off. Alternatively, you can apply a combination of neem oil and olive oil to obtain a clearer skin.
Add 10 drops of neem oil in a bathtub filled with lukewarm water and submerge your body for 15 minutes. As an alternate method, you can take a neem bath twice a day.
Turmeric: The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties in turmeric make it a useful remedy for scabies. Pour few drops of neem oil to 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and mix uniformly to make a paste for applying on the skin. After drying, use a wet piece of cloth to gently rub off the dried paste. You may also take a shower or bath to rinse it off. You can also use a tablespoon of neem powder and distilled water inplace of neem oil for this.
Combining 4 teaspoons of turmeric powder with 4 teaspoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of gram flour, prepare a paste and smear all over the rashes to improve the symptoms.
You can also apply a thick paste of turmeric powder (1 tablespoon) and lemon juice on the affected regions and leave it for an hour. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Carry out the process on a daily basis for a better outcome.
Aloe vera: Its antimicrobial properties help in eliminating the parasite, providing relief from the symptoms, thereby improving the condition of the skin. Remove the rinds of aloe vera leaves and directly apply the gel on the scabies-affected areas. Leave it for about 30 minutes and rinse off using lukewarm water. Repeating the process twice or thrice a day shows positive results in a few weeks.
Blend 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with a mixture of few calendula petals and a pinch of turmeric powder to make a paste and apply on the sore skin. Allow it to dry and then wash off with lukewarm water. As calendula also shows antimicrobial activity, it enhances the effectiveness of aloe vera gel. Follow this procedure two times daily.
Tea tree oil: Besides its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol that can eradicate the mite. Massage the rash-affected areas with the essential oil and wash off after 30 to 40 minutes.
Applying a mixture of tea tree oil and witch hazel may also have positive effects.
Mix equal amounts of tea tree oil and olive oil. Apply the mixture on the affected regions with a cotton ball. Do not wash off, rather let it get absorbed by the skin to get faster relief.
Pour 12 drops of tea tree oil in a bathtub filled with lukewarm water and immerse your body for about 15 minutes twice a day to alleviate the symptoms.
Lavender oil: A combination of lavender oil and olive oil applied with a cotton ball on the sore skin can yield positive results. It works well when mixed with orange oil.
Lavender oil and rubbing alcohol mixed in an equal ratio makes a beneficial home remedy for scabies. You can also apply a combination of lavender oil, spearmint oil, and rosemary for lowering the discomfort.
Soaking the affected areas in lukewarm bathwater mixed with 5 drops of lavender oil for 15 minutes is another way of relieving the symptoms at home.
Apple cider vinegar: Mix apple cider vinegar and water to prepare a solution. Dip a cotton swab in the solution and apply on the affected areas twice or thrice a day.
Garlic: Topical application of garlic paste or extract could prevent the growth of the mites due to its antibacterial effects, also minimizing the discomfort. However, you should apply it for 3 days and repeat the method after a gap of 2 days to curb the risk of skin burning. Along with its application, consumption of 3 or 4 garlic cloves on a regular basis might also be equally effective.
White vinegar: Its acetic acid can curb the parasitic skin condition, reducing itching and rashes. An equivalent mixture of white vinegar and water applied on the affected regions for 5 minutes, followed by rinsing with lukewarm water, can show significant improvement.
Clove oil: In addition to anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, it acts as an analgesic that might be effective for the itchy skin. Add 1 tablespoon of clove oil to 4 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and apply on the areas affected with rashes.
Cayenne Pepper: Pour 1 cup of cayenne pepper into a bathtub filled with hot water and soak your body in it until the water cools down. However, make sure the water does not enter your eyes as cayenne pepper causes a burning sensation. Have a shower once you are done. This remedy is never recommended for sensitive skin.
Bush tea: Drinking bush tea thrice a day can have positive effects on the scabies-affected skin due to its high flavonoid content as well as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Rosemary tea: The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of the herb come from the presence of terpenoids such as cineole and alpha-pinene that might alleviate the discomfort caused by itching. It also contains camphor, having the ability to drive away the mites. Prepare a cup of rosemary tea and consume it on a regular basis. It can also be externally used on the rashes using a cotton ball 3 times a day.
Bitter gourd: Its high vitamin and mineral content along with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties improves the condition of the skin affected with scabies. Place a bitter gourd in a blender and take out the juice. You may either drink the raw juice or add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to it for enhancing the taste before consumption.
How to get rid of scabies at home
Bleach: Add 1 cup of bleach to 3 cups of water. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and carefully apply on the affected areas. After it dries completely, take a bath.
Zinc: Crush 2 or 3 zinc tablets and mix with water to make a paste. Apply on the affected regions and leave it for drying. Wash off with lukewarm water. You may mix it with turmeric paste for a greater effect.
Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide: Combine one cup of hydrogen peroxide and two cups of borax. Pour the mixture into a bathtub containing lukewarm water. Immerse in the bathwater for 15 minutes. Follow this remedy daily to see the improvement in a few weeks.
Sulfur: Mix 1 tablespoon of sulfur with 9 tablespoons of petroleum jelly uniformly. Massage the affected areas with it.
Cold compress: Severe itching can be relieved with a cold compress or application of ice cubes on the affected skin.
Other ways to treat scabies
Over the counter treatments
There are some topical medications such as permethrin cream (Nix), calamine lotion, and blue star ointment that can be used for reducing the itchy rashes. Having over-the-counter oral antihistamines can provide relief from itching. Rinsing the affected areas with sulfur soap while bathing might also be beneficial for scabies.
Arsenicum album, psorinum, carbo vegetabilis, causticum, hepar sulph, and lycopodium are some of the homeopathic medications that could work for the itchy skin condition.
How to prevent scabies
- Use hot soap-water to wash your cloths, bed sheets, pillow covers, and towels used in the last three days before starting the treatment
- Store personal items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned in closed plastic bags to eliminate the mites
- Avoid skin contact with affected individuals
- Iron or vacuum upholstered furniture, carpets, and mattresses
Get in touch with a doctor if the symptoms do not subside with home remedies to avoid the risk of developing secondary skin infections, causing severe complications.