Scabies is a contagious, intensely itchy skin condition caused by an infestation of the itch mite called Sarcoptes scabiei, that spreads quickly through close physical contact in a family, school or nursing home.
Scabies infestation occurs worldwide and is very common. Scabies can affect anyone of any age (including a baby or child) or race. It has been estimated that about 300 million cases occur each year throughout the world. Human scabies has been reported for over 2,500 years. Scabies has been reported to occur in epidemics in nursing homes, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other institutions.
After the initial exposure to scabies, it can take 2 to 5 weeks for symptoms to appear. The symptoms usually develop more quickly in people who’ve had scabies before, often as soon as 1 to 4 days after exposure.
The hallmark symptoms of scabies include a rash and intense itching that gets worse at night.
Common sites for scabies in older children and adults include the:
-area between the fingers
Scabies in babies and toddlers, and sometimes the very elderly or immuno-compromised, can show up on the:
-soles of the feet
1. Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is an effective topical treatment for scabies since it relieves itching and heals the rash on the skin, but it doesn’t work as well on the eggs deeper in the skin. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to a squirt bottle, and spray it on your bedding.
Tea tree oil is:
-acaricidal (able to kill mites)
-antipruritic (relieves itching)
Neem oil, soaps, and creams can be a useful alternative treatment for scabies. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and analgesic properties.
3. Aloe vera:
Aloe vera gel has a soothing, healing effect on sunburned skin. It can also alleviate itching and kill scabies. A 2009 study found that aloe vera gel was as successful as benzyl benzoate (a common prescription treatment) in treating scabies. No side effects were noted.
5. Clove oil
Clove oil has antimicrobial, anesthetic, and antioxidant properties that contribute to its healing powers. It’s also an effective insecticidal. One study published in 2010 showed that clove oil was effective in killing scabies.
Research also shows that the following essential oils are recommended to treat scabies:
The scabies mite can survive for up to four days when not on a human host, so it’s important to treat your home to prevent a re-infestation. Wash all bedding, clothes, and towels in hot water (122°F or 50°C), and dry them in a hot dryer.
Medications for scabies itch:
-antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or pramoxine lotion to help control the itching
-antibiotics to kill any infections that develop as a result of constantly scratching your skin
-steroid creams to relieve swelling and itching, etc.
– creams such as Permethrin
Written by: Sarah Amah