The causative agent of scabies is Sarcoptes scabiei. It is a very small, wingless mite that gets attracted towards the smell and warmth of the human body. Female mites dig into the skin to lay 1 - 3 eggs daily. Under favorable conditions, the female mite can continue laying eggs for about a period of 5 weeks. As the mite lays eggs, it creates small, thread-like tunnels, which are mostly invisible to the naked eye. The common signs and symptoms of scabies are intense itching that gets worst at night and the formation of red rash generally on the area that has been scratched. Scabies commonly occur on the sides and between the fingers, on the wrists, elbows, around the waist, armpits, heels, inner thighs, and on the back of the hands. It can easily spread from person to person. It is very important to treat this skin condition on time. Highly efficient and surefooted medical treatments are available; however, you may try some easy-to-use remedies to get fast relief.
Nonprescription Cure for Scabies
➜ You will easily find over-the-counter (OTC) creams and lotions as a cure for scabies. One such OTC topical cream is permethrin and lotion is malathion. It is recommended to use permethrin first. If you find it to be ineffective, then you may use malathion. Both these medicines contain insecticides that are potent in killing scabies mites.
➜ These medications usually come with usage directions. Follow all the instructions strictly to get the best possible results. First of all, apply these creams and lotions only on cool and dry skin and never after taking a hot-water bath.
➜ This is because a hot bath increases the absorption of your skin, which will remove the active ingredient from the treatment site. Secondly, apply these creams or lotions in the upper parts of the body.
➜ In more clear words, apply it first on the ears, neck, and then further downwards. For better results, massage the application with a toothbrush, especially on the skin folds. The time period allowed to leave permethrin on is 12 hours, and it is 24 hours for malathion. If you have to wash your skin during this time period, you should immediately apply it afterwards. Repeat the application after 7 days, and this will ensure the killing of any existing or hatched egg.
➜ In order to get relief from itching, you can use nonprescription remedies like calamine lotion. You can further curb the symptoms of itching by using OTC oral antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). This will provide you comfort at night.
➜ You may experience a few side effects of antihistamines like drowsiness and sleepiness. Therefore, take them when you are done with all of your important chores for the day. There are also chances of developing rash on the area infected with bacteria.
➜ OTC antibiotics will treat the condition. Pregnant women should use sulfur in petroleum for three nights instead of permethrin as the former is more safe. Permethrin and malathion may cause certain side effects in some people.
➜ These include itching, burning sensation, and skin irritation. If you happen to develop such negative effects of OTC cure, immediately seek medical attention.
Some Home Remedies
➜ The first thing that you can try as a cure for scabies is neem (Azadirachta indica) oil. It not only kills the mites residing on the skin but also brings down the pain, reduces the inflammation, heals bacterial infection, and produces an overall soothing effect on the affected skin.
➜ Herbalists prefer using neem oil because many ticks and mites have become resistant to a number of drugs but not to neem oil as yet. Therefore, neem oil is a highly effective cure.
➜ Another effectual remedy is turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder. Make a paste of turmeric powder with lemon juice. Apply it all over your body and leave for about an hour before washing it off well with water. Do it once daily till you notice satisfactory relief from the symptoms of scabies. You may even use evening primrose oil to get the same effects. It will be better if you consult an aromatherapist for proper application direction.
A Few Precautionary Measures
While undergoing the treatment for scabies, take some precautionary measures to foreclose it for long. Wash all clothing, linens, and bed covers in hot water at 50ºC. Avoid air drying them, instead dry them with a dryer. Secondly, cut your nails and clean them well to remove mites or their eggs that might be present. Thirdly, vacuum the household furniture, rugs, bedding, etc., and throw the vacuum cleaner bag out when done. All these things will also prove to be beneficial for snoring caused by mites, ticks, and lice.
The symptoms of infestation such as itching may persist for about 6 weeks even after resorting to effective intervention methods. This is because your immune system continues to react to the presence of dead mites and their excrement. In case they persist longer than 6 weeks, visit a physician for assistance.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.