Are there any effective and fast ways to get rid of scabies? Scabies, a highly contagious itchy skin condition caused by the itch mite sarcoptes scabiei, is transmitted through direct skin to skin contact. Treatment includes topical and oral scabicidal drugs which are only available with a doctor’s prescription. In this article are different ways you can use to get rid of scabies at home naturally fast and permanently on both humans and dogs.
Sarcoptes scabies are very tiny mites that are known to burrow into the human skin causing intense and persistent itching. Itching becomes stronger while one is asleep and is made worse by warmth. Scabies is a highly contagious condition that can be spread via skin to skin contact.
It can also be transmitted through sexual contact which is why it is sometimes considered a sexually transmitted disease- Note that not all cases are sexually transmitted. Persistent itching may predispose the skin to secondary infections.
Scabies affects people across all races, social classes and occurs worldwide. It is known to spread quick and easy in crowded conditions with frequent body contact. Scabies breakouts often occur in prisons, nursing homes and other extended care facilities.
Symptoms include skin rash, small red bumps and blisters that occur on specific areas of the body which include; finger webs, feet, elbows, ventral wrists, back, buttocks and external genitalia. In infants and the immunosuppressed, the infection may occur on the skin of the face and the scalp.
It may also be possible to see the tiny red marks that the mites make while burrowing into the skin. The burrows are usually linear making an almost neat line or four or more closely placed bites. This is the most diagnostic symptoms of the disease. It is important to note that even after treatment and successful eradication of the mites, symptoms may persist for several weeks.
While there are a number of treatments which can successfully eradicate the infection, treatment should also involve the entire household plus any other persons who have had recent prolonged contact with the infested individual.
According to the CDC, “both sexual and close personal contacts who have had direct prolonged skin to skin contact with the infested person within the preceding month should also be examined and treated”. This however does not mean that the infestation will be cleared forever. Special instructions and precautions have to be taken to prevent re-infestation like making sure all persons are treated at the same time. Other medications such as anti-inflammatory and antihistamines can be used to control itching.
Here is How to Get Rid of Scabies Fast
Products used in treatment of scabies are called scabicides. This is because they kill all stages of the scabies mites including eggs, hatchings and adult mites. These are however only available with a doctor’s prescription. While there are a number of over the counter medications touted to cure scabies, there is no proof that they offer any relief.
Permethrin to Get Rid of Resistant Scabies Permanently
This is so far the most effective treatment for scabies and is the recommended treatment of choice. It is an ointment and common household product that has been used effectively to eradicate scabies infestation
Wash and dry the affected area before applying any medication
Should be applied once in a day before bedtime on the neck downwards
In infants, apply permethrin to the entire head and neck too
Apply and coat the entire skin surface
Leave it on for 8-14 hours
Wash off in the morning
Wear clean clothing after treatment
Permethrin is effective on all stages of the mites including the eggs, hatchings and adult mites and one application is normally sufficient. You may require several applications if treating crusted scabies. Permethrin may cause slight irritation of the skin which can be tolerated.
Ivermectin is oral treatment that is very effective in treating severely crusted scabies in immunosuppressed persons where topical medications do not seem to work. It is cheap compared to other medications and is taken as a single dose but a repeat dose may be required in severely crusted scabies. One of the advantages of using ivermectin, is that it can be comfortably used to treat mentally ill patients where topical application may be difficult.
Note that while ivermectin has been used successfully to treat parasitic infections, in the US, the FDA has not approved it for the treatment of scabies. Safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established.
How to Cure Scabies Using Sulfur Creams, Ointments and Powder
Sulfur has long been in use for treatment of various skin problems. It is one of the most common remedies used at home for the treatment of scabies as it is very effective in getting rid of the scabies mites. A study done on the National Institute of Health on treatment of scabies using 8% and 10% topical sulfur ointment showed that using sulfur ointment in three successive days using two different regimens did not show any difference in effectiveness but rather with fewer side effects.
Sulfur is available in forms of ointments, creams, lotions, soaps and powder. Before application of any sulfur preparations on your skin:
Wash the affected area with soap and water and dry it completely
Apply the medicine making sure to cover all parts of the affected skin while rubbing in gently
Apply sulfur preparations at bedtime covering your body from the neck downwards and leave it on for 24 hours
After 24 hours, before the next application, wash your body thoroughly
If you are using sulfur soap to get rid of scabies
Work up a rich lather using warm water and wash the affected area and rinse thoroughly. Apply again while rubbing in gently for a few minutes. Remove the excess lather with a soft towel without rinsing off.
Note that some people are allergic to sulfur and any of its compounds and should not use this as a remedy for scabies without doctor’s consultation. Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any skin irritation or rash that was not there before the use of sulfur.
Here is a video showing the appearance of scabies on different parts of the body; hands, legs and chest.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Scabies on Humans
Fast and prompt treatment is most important as it reduces the symptoms and prevents spreading through direct physical contact. While there are many home remedies to get rid of scabies, most of them cannot work on their own. It is recommended that you use them to reduce the intensity if symptoms while you await treatment with oral or topical scabicides. Where possible, you can also use home remedies in combination with scabicides to get rid of scabies. Here are how to get rid of scabies with household products
Apple Cider Vinegar to Get Rid of Scabies
Vinegar is known to have a high PH which when used on the skin causes the mites to die.
In a bowl, mix equal parts of water and vinegar
Use a cotton ball to apply the solution on the affected skin
Leave it on the skin for a 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water
Do this up to three times in a day to get rid of the infestation completely
Tea Tree Oil for Scabies
Tea tree oil is an age old disinfectant and antiseptic that has been used against all types of skin problems. Terpinen-4, a compound found in tea tree oil helps to kill scarptes scabiei. Here is how to use tea tree oil to get rid of mites and cure scabies rash
Apply 5% tea tree oil on affected area of the skin twice a day. Do this for atleast 10 days for best results.
If you have sensitive skin, add TTO in bath water or to your laundry wash while doing your linen and clothes.
Alternatively, mix a tablespoon each of tea tree oil and olive oil. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the affected are twice daily for two weeks.
Note that, tea tree oil is effective against unprotected and vulnerable scabies mites. It does not work on those mites that are deeply burrowed into the skin. It is also does not kill scabies eggs. If you are looking for where to buy TTO, it is readily found in local food stores. While going through most reviews online, most users rate TTO for scabies lowly for complete cure but recommend it for relief against the scabies itch and rash.
How to Get Rid of Scabies with Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is best used on skin that is not sensitive as it is very hot and can be very aggressive on eradication of the scabies mites. Cayenne will burn the mites without having any adverse effects on your skin.
Add a cup of cayenne pepper in hot bath water
Soak in the bath water until the water cools down
Rinse off with cool water
Be careful not to get any cayenne into your eyes
Do this once daily until the scabies is eradicated
Soaking your skin in a hot bath with cayenne pepper will help to get rid of scabies on the trunk, hands and legs. Make sure that the water is not too hot. Hot water may dry up your skin causing more irritation.
How to Get Rid of Scabies Naturally
Taking hot showers might make scabies itch even worse. This is because hot water makes the skin dry our fast which causes irritation and exacerbates the itch. It is recommended that you wash in cold water to sooth your skin and calm the itching. You may start off with slightly warm water then gradually decrease the temperature to a tolerable low. This means that you will start off with warm water and end with cold water to provide a cooling effect on the skin.
Be sure to use soaps that do not dry out your skin and make the scabies itch and rash worse. Soap with ingredients that can cause skin irritation such as often inflame the skin. It is best to avoid such soaps and use those that have ingredients which are calming to the skin.
If you are not using any conventional medication or home remedies to get rid of scabies, you can buy soothing lotion to calm the itch and provide relief from symptoms of inflammation. Consult your doctor or pharmacist on what lotion or cream is best to sooth scabies itch.
Take antihistamines. The body produces histamines in response to allergens. The scabies itch is caused by the body’s allergic reaction to the mites and their eggs. Taking sedating antihistamines will help you sleep and temporarily relieve itching. Take antihistamines before bed time and avoid driving or operating any machinery since they cause drowsiness. Note that non-sedating antihistamines do not relieve itching.
Drink plenty of water to keep your skin well hydrated. The skin is itchier when dry. People have different water requirements. Just drink enough. Pair this up with a healthy diet avoiding foods that have natural histamines such red wine, citrus fruits, seafood, eggs and spices.
Wear clothes that do not stimulate itching. Some materials may make your skin more sensitive than others. Avoid new and tight clothes and clothing materials such as latex, wool. Wear loose clothing in cotton, silk, linen and dye free.
How to Get Rid of Scabies in the House
There are many treatments that are effective in getting rid of scabies on humans. Cleaning around the house furniture, clothing and floors is also very important to help prevent re-infestation after treatment. This is a very vital step. The scabies mite can live for 2-3 days off the human body and cleaning makes sure that the mites do not get a safe haven while you are on treatment.
How to Get Rid of Scabies on Furniture and Carpets
According to greendept.com, furniture and carpets are not infective with normal early scabies as they rarely carry the scabies mites or eggs- scabies do not survive more than 3 days away from the human skin. They therefore do not require any kind of treatment but it does not hurt to take precaution.
Furniture and carpets are only infected in case of crusted scabies which is very rare and should only be treated at the hospital. It is not necessary to go praying insecticide on clothes and furniture.
Vacuum on upholstery and carpets and throw away the bad or empty the canister. Wash the removable canister in hot soapy water and allow it to dry in the sun. Steam clean your carpets and allow them to air dry. Use bleach to mop the floors where possible.
Clothes, bedding and towels should be machine washed in hot water or dry cleaned using the hot cycle. After washing, dry everything in the hot dryer using the hot setting.
If you are not able to machine wash or dry clean, seal the clothing in a plastic bag the moment you remove them for at least 72hours. Removing them from the body and cutting off any contact for at least 72 hours will decontaminate them
How to get rid of scabies from your bed and mattress
It is possible that some scabies mites might lodge onto your bed and mattress for a while. This however should not make you throw away your mattress. The best way to kill the scabies mites is by getting a plastic mattress cover for your mattress. To get rid of scabies from your bed, wash with hot soapy water and follow this up by spraying with 5% permethrin and allow it to air dry. Do the same with car seats and other wooden furniture.
Note: DO NOT spray permethrin around cats- it is toxic to them.