Scabies is a type of parasitic infestation of the skin. It occurs when tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei burrows into the skin, where the female mites lay eggs that hatch to produce more mites, which spread to infest more areas of the skin.
Scabies is a contagious skin disease that spreads through skin-to-skin contact. It causes intense itching.
Treatment for scabies involves killing the scabies mites and reducing the itching.
Several topical medications can effectively treat scabies. Often repeated application of mite-killer medications is required for completely eliminating the mites from the body and preventing recurrent infestation.
Recurrent scabies infestation can be avoided by ensuring that every individual member of a family applies the topical medication on the same day.
Moreover, the bedclothes and linens should be washed thoroughly while the members of a family are being treated.
Topical Medications For Scabies
Applying permethrin cream all over the body is the most effective treatment for scabies. A thin layer of the cream is applied from the neck to the toe. After 8 to 14 hours, take a shower to wash off the cream.
Permethrin works by killing the scabies mites. In most cases, a single application is sufficient for curing scabies.
However, a second application after two weeks is usually recommended to ensure elimination of all live mites from the skin.
Crotamiton kills the scabies mites and reduces itching. It is applied all over the skin for two consecutive days. The topical medication should be left on the skin for about 48 hours after the last application.
Lindane is occasionally used for treating scabies. It is usually used in the form of lotion of 1 per cent strength. Too much lindane absorbed through the skin during application can cause seizures. Adverse reactions can be prevented by avoiding application of the topical medication on wet or irritated skin.
Therapy with lindane is not recommended for children less than 2 years of age, elderly people, pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with below 110-pound body weight.
Oral anti-parasitic Drug
In some cases, the oral anti-parasitic medication ivermectin is used for treating scabies. By killing the mites, it helps to eradicate the skin disease. It is recommended for people who cannot tolerate topical medications. A single dose of the drug followed by two weekly doses helps to eliminate the mites from the skin.
Applying topical ointments containing 5 to 10 per cent sulfur or sulfur mixed with petroleum jelly helps to kill the scabies mites.
The treatment should be continued for three consecutive days to remove all the live mites from the body. Sulfur is usually well tolerated. Sometimes it may cause irritation and burning of the skin.
Herbal topical preparations can effectively treat scabies. Azadirachta indica, commonly known as neem, is a popular anti-parasitic plant. Applying neem oil to the skin helps to cure scabies.
Sticky snakeroot (Eupatorium adenophorum), a plant of the daisy family, can kill the scabies mites.
The leaves of these medicinal plants contain powerful scabicide compounds that can easily eliminate the adult mites and nits from the skin. Itching caused by the scabies mites can be alleviated by applying aloe vera gel on the scabies lesions.
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil is another effective herbal medication for treating scabies. Terpinen-4-ol, the main bioactive constituent of tea tree oil, and other anti-parasitic constituents help to kill the itch mites.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professionals.