Scabies Overview


Natural Scabies Treatments

Although scabicides are most effective when treating scabies, all of them require a prescription. Furthermore, many of them are quite potent and can be hazardous if ingested. For people looking for a safe way to treat scabies without the help of a doctor, there are a few natural remedies that show promising results.

One of the commonly used natural treatments is a paste made from extracts of neem, a type of tree native to India. In one study, neem was found to cure 97 percent of the patients infested with scabies, and it is less toxic than the typical prescription scabicide is[source: The Health Guide]. Another home remedy is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has been found to be effective against scabies mites in a number of studies, but it is harsh and should not be used undiluted [source: The Health Guide]. Another study compared the effectiveness of a typically prescribed lotion to an ointment created out of sulfur, a natural occurring chemical that has long been used for natural skin treatments. The study found that the sulfur ointment was just as effective for treating scabies in children [source: Singalavanija].

People suffering from the itching associated with scabies can try soaking their skin in cool water. A cold bath or cool damp washcloth can help relieve the itching. And, as mentioned previously, anti-itch creams such as calamine lotion or antihistamines can also alleviate itching [source: Mayo Clinic].

Even though it's difficult, you should not dwell on the negative connotations of scabies. Focus instead on treating and destroying the mites with traditional pharmaceutical creams or natural home remedies. The faster you treat them, the better you'll feel.

If you'd like to read more about the causes and treatments of scabies, visit the Web sites listed below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Sources

  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Scabies." 2009. (8/20/09)http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_scabies.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Scabies." November 10, 2008. (8/3/09) http://www.cdc.gov/scabies/
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Scabies: Fact Sheet." November 10, 2008. (8/3/09) http://www.cdc.gov/scabies/factsheet.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Scabies: Prevention and Control." November 10, 2008. (8/3/09)http://www.cdc.gov/scabies/prevent.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Scabies: Risk." November 10, 2008. (8/3/09) http://www.cdc.gov/scabies/risk.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Scabies: Symptoms." November 10, 2008. (8/3/09) http://www.cdc.gov/scabies/symptoms.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Scabies: Treatment." November 10, 2008. (8/3/09) http://www.cdc.gov/scabies/treatment.html
  • The Health Guide. "Home Remedies for Scabies." The Health Guide.org. March 14, 2009. (8/4/2009)http://www.thehealthguide.org/natural-remedies/home-remedies-for-scabies-do-they-work/
  • Heukelbach, Jorg. Hermann Feldmeier. "Scabies: Seminar." The Lancet. Volume 367. May 27, 2006. (8/3/09)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16731272?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
  • Mantle, D, Gok MA, Lennard TW. "Adverse and beneficial effects of plant extracts on skin and skin disorders." Adverse Drug Reaction Toxicology Review. Volume 20. No 2. June 2001. (8/3/09)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11482001?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Scabies: Causes." June 23, 2009. (8/3/09)http://mayoclinic.com/health/scabies/DS00451/DSECTION=causes
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Scabies: Definition." June 23, 2009. (8/3/09)http://mayoclinic.com/health/scabies/DS00451
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  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Scabies: Symptoms." June 23, 2009. (8/3/09)http://mayoclinic.com/health/scabies/DS00451/DSECTION=symptoms
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Scabies: Treatments and drugs." June 23, 2009. (8/3/09)http://mayoclinic.com/health/scabies/DS00451/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  • Rockoff, Alan and Mellissa Stoppler. "Scabies." MedicineNet. (8/3/09)http://www.medicinenet.com/scabies/page4.htm#7arecases
  • Singalavanija S, Limpongsanurak W. Soponsakunkul S. "A comparative study between 10 percent sulfur ointment and 0.3 percent gamma benzene hexachloride gel in the treatment of scabies in children." J Med Association Thailand. Volume 86. August 2003. (8/3/09)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14700144?ordinalpos=9&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
  • Stoppler, Melissa Conrad, MD and William C. Shiel, Jr., MD. "Chiggers." MedicineNet.com. June 10, 2009. (8/3/2009)http://www.medicinenet.com/chiggers_bites/article.htm

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