Scabies – a word that defines an entire itch culture. Just the mention of scabies can warrant insatiable phantom itches in most people, regardless of whether or not they have ever been at its receiving end.
Scabies is a skin condition caused by the human itch mite. It is characterized by rashes, bumps and blisters over the infested skin, which experiences unbearable itching and pain. These rashes may also get infected due to severe itching. There are some simple home remedies that can help you get rid of scabies. (5)
The human itch mite is a microscopic,eight-legged insect. It burrows into the skin seeking warmth, food and shelter. The female lays eggs under the skin. The rashes occur as a reaction to the feces and the eggs.
These mites can survive without human contact for 48 to 72 hours. This allows them to easily spread from one person to another by extended contact. Common activities that can spread scabies are shaking hands, hugging or having sexual relations. Scabies can easily spread from mother to child as well as between roommates and spouses.
There is a variety of medications available today for treating scabies. While mostly effective, you may wish for an alternative for any number of reasons. There some cost-efficient home remedies to get relief from scabies.
- Treat Scabies the Natural Way
- Method 1: Use Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide
- Method 2: Use Onion
- Method 3: Use Clove Oil
- Method 4: Use Tea Tree Oil
- Method 5: Use Cayenne Pepper
- Method 6: Use Bleaching Powder
- Tips to keep in mind
Treat Scabies the Natural Way
The six home remedies listed below can help you get rid of scabies.
Method 1: Use Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide
Using borax and hydrogen peroxide to deal with a scabies outbreak is one of the most effective methods. Borax, an efficient insecticide and fungicide, effectively kills the itch-causing mites, whereas hydrogen peroxide is a popular and effective bactericidal agent. (3) Usually used to disinfect wounds, hydrogen peroxide can prevent infection in the inflamed and itchy rashes.
Things you’ll need:
- Borax (effectively kills the itch-causing mites)
- 3% hydrogen peroxide (effective bactericidal agent)
Single-Step Treatment: Combine borax with hydrogen peroxide in 2:1 ratio
- Put 2 parts borax into a bowl and add 1 part hydrogen peroxide to it.
- Mix the two ingredients together.
- Apply the borax and hydrogen peroxide mixture on the skin affected with scabies as well as the surrounding areas.
- Allow this to sit for 15 minutes and then rinse off.
Use this borax and hydrogen peroxide mixture as an ointment twice a day regularly for 2 weeks.
Repeat as needed.
Keep in mind that you should use 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Method 2: Use Onion
Onions contain sulfur compounds that eliminate the scabies mites. Onions also contain quercetin, which can help soothe the skin by relieving pain and alleviating itching in the rashes. Onion extract can be applied topically as an effective treatment for scabies. Raw onion juice is the most effective and convenient option for treatment of scabies, as it also prevents it from spreading further.
Things you’ll need:
- Onion, peeled and quartered (help soothe the skin) – 1
Step 1. Puree the onion
Peel and quarter an onion and put the pieces into a blender. Blend the onions until thoroughly pureed.
Step 2. Strain the onion juice and apply
Using a strainer, strain out the onion juice, collecting it in a small bowl. Apply pressure over the pulp to extract the maximum amount of juice. You can also use cheesecloth to strain out the juice.
- Apply the onion juice on the affected areas using a cotton ball. If your scabies are really bad, you should apply it all over your body.
- Apply it for 15 minutes at least 3 times a day for good results.
Repeat until it treats your scabies.
Method 3: Use Clove Oil
Clove oil has multiple benefits when it comes to treating scabies. Being antimicrobial, clove oil can kill the mites. Some studies found that the itch-causing mites died within an hour after coming in contact with clove oil.
Clove oil also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can help relieve the all-consuming scabies itch and the pain that stems from it (2). It can heal and dry the bumps, blisters, and rashes caused by the mites. It stops scabies in its tracks and prevents it from spreading as well.
Being potent, clove oil can burn the skin if used undiluted. Also, to prevent any allergic reaction, clove oil should always be diluted in a carrier oil before use.
Things you’ll need:
- Clove oil (helps relieve the itch and pain) – 1 teaspoon
- Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Treatment: Blend clove and coconut oil
Combine 1 teaspoon of clove oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and mix well.
Use pure organic coconut oil to make this blend. Coconut oil is a good carrier oil for this remedy, as coconut oil itself possesses antimicrobial properties. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use olive oil as well.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the clove oil blend on the skin affected with scabies and let the oils absorb into the skin.
- Allow it to remain for 30 minutes before rinsing off.
Carefully dispose of the used cotton ball.
Apply this oil blend twice a day regularly for 2 weeks or until it cures your scabies.
Method 4: Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a known and effective antimicrobial essential oil and can be applied topically to treat scabies. The terpenoids present in tea tree oil efficiently kill the scabies mites. Tea tree oil also helps heal the rashes and bumps, both above and below the skin’s surface. Being anti-inflammatory, it also provides relief from the incessant itching and pain. (4)
Things you’ll need:
- Tea tree essential oil ( heal the rashes and bumps) – 1 teaspoon
Single-Step Treatment: Apply tea tree oil for 15 min
- Using a cotton ball, apply the tea tree oil on the skin affected with scabies.
- If your skin is sensitive to the oil, dilute it with an equal amount of coconut oil before application.
- Let the oil sit on the skin for 15 minutes.
Dispose of the used cotton ball carefully.
Apply this oil 3 or 4 times a day for 2 weeks to treat scabies completely.
Method 5: Use Cayenne Pepper
Another useful remedy against scabies is cayenne pepper. Capsaicin, a substance present in cayenne pepper, can act as an effective analgesic to bring relief from the painful sensation of scabies. (1) It also numbs the area, greatly soothing the itch.
Cayenne pepper is also said to be effective at killing the mites responsible for causing scabies as well as their eggs on contact.
Cayenne pepper powder is usually applied topically to treat scabies. You can use cayenne pepper in a hot bath, or you can apply it topically on the affected areas.
- Add 1 cup of cayenne pepper powder to hot bathwater. Get in the water when it’s bearably hot, as cayenne pepper burns as well. Remain in the bath until the water goes cold. Rinse your body thoroughly with cold water and towel off.
- Make a paste of cayenne pepper and water. Apply this paste wherever you observe a new rash. Let it remain as long as you can bear the burning, then rinse it off with cold water. The paste should not be applied near the sensitive skin of the genitals. Treat that area with the bath method only.
Repeat once daily until the scabies is treated.
Be informed that cayenne pepper will cause temporary burning sensations on the skin, especially in the area around the genitals. Keep it away from your eyes, as it will cause unbearable stinging in them.
Don’t use cayenne pepper if you’re allergic to it. Test a patch of skin for allergies before applying cayenne pepper.
Method 6: Use Bleaching Powder
If your skin is not allergic to bleach, regular application of bleaching powder can be of great help against scabies. While extremely effective in exterminating the mites, bleach doesn’t do much to help with the pain and itching.
If you’re battling a huge infestation and want to go straight for the kill, bleach is your best bet. However, ensure that your skin can withstand a bleach treatment first. You may also need to use other remedies to relieve the itching and pain.
Things you’ll need:
- Bleaching powder (relives the itch and pain)
Single-Step Treatment: Apply bleaching powder on scabies
- Add water to some bleaching powder in order to make a runny paste.
- Apply the bleaching powder paste on the skin affected with scabies.
- Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Repeat daily before going to bed until the scabies infection is gone.
Tips to keep in mind
- You can also take a borax and hydrogen peroxide bath before going to bed at night. Add 2 to 3 cups of borax and 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide to hot bath water and soak in it for 30 minutes. Hot water will open up your pores and allow the treatment to work better.
- Before taking a borax and hydrogen peroxide bath or using them as an ointment, you can also massage your body with a mixture of diatomaceous earth and an oil blend of grape seed oil and coconut oil.
- You can also make onion extract by boiling 6 onions in 1quart of water for 30 minutes. Let this extract cool down and apply it to the affected areas.
- Chop an onion and sprinkle it with coarse sea salt. Cover it and let it sit a while. The juice obtained in this manner can also be applied over scabies.
- You can also use liquid bleach to treat scabies. Mix 1 part liquid bleach into 4 parts water and spray it on the affected areas or apply it using a cotton ball.
- If bleach gets into your eyes by accident, wash your eyes with plenty of water and seek medical care.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel on your skin after treating your skin with bleach. Aloe vera will soothe, nourish and heal your skin, alleviating the pain and itching.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that will help strengthen your immune system and build your body’s resistance against the mites. Include foods like onion, garlic, citric fruits, coconut oil and herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary in your diet.
- Regularly treat your clothes, linen, and upholstery with borax to disinfect them during the infestation and a couple of additional weeks as a precaution. You can also steam iron them or run them through a dryer on the high temperature to kill the mites.
- Chrubasik S, Weiser T, Beime B. Effectiveness and safety of topical capsaicin cream in the treatment of chronic soft tissue pain. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.3335. Published November 22, 2010.
- Ibrahim IM. Effectiveness of topical clove oil on symptomatic treatment of chronic pruritus. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315823318. Published April 2017.
- Schmidt M. Boric Acid Inhibition of Trichophyton rubrum Growth and Conidia Formation. Biological Trace Element Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28391495. Published December 2017.
- Thomas J, Carson CF, Peterson GM, Walton SF, Hammer KA, et al., Therapeutic Potential of Tea Tree Oil for Scabies. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4751955/. Published February 3, 2016.
- Johnston G. Scabies: diagnosis and treatment - PubMed Central (PMC). The BMJ. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1215558/. Published September 17, 2005.
Summary of How to Get Rid of Scabies with Home Remedies
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