Home Cure for Scabies

Scabies, one of the more stomach-churning skin infections out there but unfortunately one of the more common, is caused by tiny mites that burrow under the skin and cause intense allergic itching. It is most often transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, but initial infection requires four to six weeks to become symptomatic, making it difficult to determine a source. Scabies may be diagnosed clinically by rubbing a suspected area with ink from a pen or a topical tetracycline solution, then wiping away with alcohol. The characteristic zigzag or S pattern of a burrow will appear across the skin. Other diagnoses involve finding scabies mites or their eggs and feces.

How can I prevent scabies?

  • It can be difficult to prevent scabies due to lack of symptoms for up to the first two months, because an infested person can still transmit scabies without knowing it. Therefore, although the best prevention is to avoid members of the family with the infection, it can be impossible to tell if someone has scabies because they may be asymptomatic.

What are the symptoms of scabies?

  • An allergic-type reaction of the skin, also known as the seven-year itch, that causes intense itching. Crusted scabies are a more severe species that leads to immunosuppression in some cases.
  • Superficial burrows will appear where the itching becomes intense. The burrow tracks are usually linear, creating four or more closely placed lines near one another. They are created by mites burrowing through the skin.
  • The burrows of scabies will typically occur in the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, back, buttocks, and external areas of the genitals.

How do I get rid of scabies?

  • Treatment typically occurs for all members of the family, because it can be very difficult to tell who has been infected and who hasn’t. It’s important to treat the bedding and clothing of all people to destroy any live mites immediately after starting treatment. Anything the skin may have touched should be washed in hot water and dried hot. Quarantine any additional clothing that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned in a closed plastic bag for at least 7 days.
  • To help with itching, oral antihistamines or corticosteroid creams are effective after being seen by a doctor.
  • One budget-friendly, natural solution is to apply undiluted white vinegar to the skin three times per day for 10 days, because mites are unable to live in an acidic environment. This will not fight off itching, but will help to kill scabies.
  • A mixed solution of 90 ml distilled witch hazel and 10 ml tea tree oil applied to the infected area after a bath or shower is an effective lotion for scabies.
  • A solution of alcohol and pure lavender oil is also effective in killing the mites and their eggs.
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