Scabies Home Remedies: List of Non-Medication Options – Verywell Health

Kelly Burch is a freelance journalist who has covered health topics for more than 10 years. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and more.
Chris Vincent, MD, is a licensed physician, surgeon, and board-certified doctor of family medicine.
Scabies is a skin condition that happens when microscopic mites burrow into the outer layer of the skin and lay eggs. Scabies is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei and is characterized by an itchy, pimply-looking rash.
Scabies is contagious and spreads through close contact. It can affect anyone but is most common among people who live in close quarters, like those in dorms, nursing homes, or prisons. 
The first-line treatment for scabies is a prescription skin cream that is applied at night and rinsed off in the morning. While this treatment is necessary to kill scabies, home remedies can help control and prevent its spread. 
This article explains home remedies for scabies that can help you feel better soon. 
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The only way to get rid of scabies in 24 hours is to use a prescription cream. These creams are called scabicides because they kill scabies, and they contain permethrin 5% cream, ivermectin, and sulfur ointment. When a person is diagnosed with scabies, all of their household members and sexual partners need to be treated. 
In addition to prescription creams, you can use home remedies to help control the symptoms of scabies and keep an outbreak from spreading. This is important for comfort since the itching from scabies can continue for two to four weeks, even after treatment has killed the mites.
When you see a healthcare provider for scabies, talk to them about home remedies that might help you control symptoms and contain the outbreak. Home remedies for scabies include over-the-counter medications, essential oils, oatmeal baths, Vaseline, and more.
In addition to prescription scabicides, you can use over-the-counter medications to help with symptoms like itchiness. These might include:
Laboratory research shows that tea tree oil can, in theory, help treat scabies, but its effectiveness in people still needs further study. To use tea tree oil to treat scabies, apply an ointment containing less than 5% tea tree oil to your skin. You can make this by mixing a few drops of tea tree oil into a lotion or coconut oil. Apply this daily while you’re experiencing symptoms. 
An oatmeal bath is a great way to soothe itchy skin by reducing inflammation. Because of that, it may help control itchiness associated with scabies. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that it will cure scabies, but it can help you feel more comfortable until your symptoms subside. 
As an alternative to an oatmeal bath, try a cool bath with 2 ounces of baking soda. This can help soothe skin and alleviate itching.
Putting a cool compress on your skin can reduce itchiness. Try sitting in a cool bath, or putting a cool, damp washcloth on areas of your body that are particularly itchy.
Even when scabies treatment works the first time, you can still experience itching for two to four weeks after the mites have died.
You may have heard that you can control scabies by applying vinegar to your skin and rinsing it off a few minutes later, but there's no proof it works, and it could be irritating to your skin.
Soap can further irritate your skin when you have scabies. Wash with water, and avoid soap or scented lotions while your skin is inflamed.
In addition to treating yourself and your loved ones, it’s important to clean your home or living area to reduce the transmission of scabies.
It’s normal to look for natural home remedies for scabies. Unfortunately, the only proven way to kill scabies and treat symptoms is with prescription ointment. However, natural scabies treatments can help control your symptoms and reduce the risk of transmission. 
Scabies is a common condition that can affect anyone. You might feel embarrassed about having scabies, but the condition is no reflection on your cleanliness—it’s just something that can happen. If you have symptoms, be proactive about talking to your healthcare provider and any close contacts who need to be treated. 
The front-line treatment for scabies is permethrin 5% cream, which is applied all over the body below the neck and left on overnight. This treatment usually works in one application, but you can still experience itchiness for up to four weeks after treatment. 
Most natural scabies treatments can be used alongside prescriptions. Talk to your healthcare provider about your specific treatment plan. 
Scabies presents with a red, pimply rash. The pimples are often in a row, connected by a thin line, which is the burrow of the mite. It’s most common to see the rash on the wrists, fingers, armpits, waist, and genitals. The rash can become red and blistered, and often feels intensely itchy. 
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scabies treatment.
American Academy of Dermatology. Scabies: diagnosis and treatment.
Thomas J, Carson CF, Peterson GM, et al. Therapeutic potential of tea tree oil for scabies. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2016;94(2):258. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0515
American Academy of Dermatology. Home remedies: what can relieve itchy eczema?
Seattle Children’s Hospital. Scabies-itch mite rash.
Luu LA, Flowers RH, Kellams AL, et al. Apple cider vinegar soaks [0.5%] as a treatment for atopic dermatitis do not improve skin barrier integrityPediatr Dermatol. 2019;36(5):634-639

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