What Is Scabies - Treatment for Scabies

Scabies is highly contagious and often tough to diagnose because it can look like dermatitis, welts from hives, pimples and other skin rashes. Since it is a very itchy rash it can be also obscured due to the scratch marks as well as possible bacterial infections such as impetigo which may mask it.

Scabies mites are microscopic and can’t be seen by the human eye. It may sound like the movie Aliens, but the female will burrow in your skin, lay eggs and the eggs will develop. The babies then look for mates as they crawl on your skin and the process of reproduction and burrowing continues. The rash is actually an allergic reaction to the scabies burrowing in the skin.

Scabies can often be spread around child care centers, nursing homes and other places where there is close contact . It is passed via skin to skin contact but also can be contracted by sharing clothing, towels and sharing a bed. One salient feature is that it is extremely itchy. A doctor may take a skin scraping and see the “scabies burrows” where it has dug it’s little trench. It is only the width of a hair, so hard to see. Though you can look up scabies pictures online, they can look so similar to other common rashes such as insect bites and allergic contact eczema that other diagnostic tools are needed.

Elimite is usally prescribe as it has a high success rate. It is a pesticide you put on from the neck down covering your whole body and leave on for 12 hours or more. It is important to get this under your nail beds as well. After showering it off, be sure to wash all the clothing and linen you’ve used in the last few days in order to not re-infect yourself. If you’ve been around family members they should also use the cream at the same time you do so that everyone in the home is treated . Sometimes the scabies rash can go on for a while when there is a ping pong effect between people and the mites keep circulating. In one nursing home , it was found that people hadn’t treated well under their nails and due to scratching themselves and touching clothing and others. This kept spreading the scabies rash around the facility back and forth with cycles of new infestations despite using the permethrin cream.

It can be very frustrating due to the itching so be sure to speak to your doctor to get an antihistamine if you need it to sleep . Taking oatmeal baths and using anti-itch creams are useful as well. In India, they use neem oil and leaves topically to help stop the eggs from developing. In fact, neem is used as a contraception . There was a study where using neem and tumeric topically for scabies had a high success rate. Tumeric stains so be aware of this if you choose to use this approach.

It will help to keep nails short and for kids to sleep with socks over their hands to prevent scratching. Kids can go back to school after they have used the elimite cream and are no longer contagious. However, be sure that they have fresh clothing on and their clothing worn during the week is washed in very hot water. Some find borax also helpful in the wash to assure eradication of the mites.

Scabies is not just something people get in low income areas any more than anyone else, but is highly contagious and can be found in many schools, day cares, camps and nursing homes where there is close contact.

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Natural Remedy for Scabies

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25 Responses to “What Is Scabies - Treatment for Scabies”

  1. How do you know if the itching after using the scabies cream means you got it again or if it is just the old scabies rash taking a while to get better? The scabies itching is still pretty severe.

  2. In the pictures of scabies I saw on the net they showed a magnified image of skin with the burrow of the mite, but I don’t see this on my skin. But I read you can have scabies rash and never see the burrow too. Do most people see the burrow or is it too small to see?

  3. I know in some countries they use home remedies for scabies and most people couldn’t afford the 30 dollar perscription pesticide lotion for scabies. I have heard that neem is good for this but don’t know anyone who used it as a home treatment for mites.

  4. My cousin in graduate school got scabies rash and it was a drag. She used the prescription lotion but knows someone who travelled to a yoga center in India and they used neem leaves and oil there. Also she never had it in the finger webs like the pictures of scabies usually show. It was on her wrists and waist. Got it during finals week too.

  5. I was treated with the elimite cream this week for scabies, I stopped itching for a day and then the itch was insane! I read that this is normal for up to four weeks and more bumps appeared after treatment behind my knees and in the arm pits. I just hope all the little goobers are dead and I don’t have to do this again.

  6. The scabies natural treatment I read about with tumeric and neem oil paste said it is used a lot in India and foreign countries but it can stain the clothing, sheets and rest of laundry. Can it be used without tumeric because that i think is the staining agent.

  7. I heard about a scabies natural treatment that uses sulfur but I know that has a very strong odor. I wonder if it’s effective. The weird thing is my cousin still isn’t sure if she even has a scabies rash because the dermatologist said he can’t tell for sure.

  8. mom of 3 --- going crazy on December 15th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Hi, my 5 year old was diagnosed with scabies a little over a week ago, after having a rash for a week, and the doctor told us to wait it out to see what it was….now my other kids have it and me as well…..I am going out of my mind with the laundry and bleaching everything, vaccuuming, cleaning mattresses…..i even used lice shampoo on out hair … Contrary to what i have read, YES, THEY DO IFEST FACE AND HEAD. my child has some marks on her cheeks, ears and around the hair line…..We used the permethrin5 cream , but after 5 days the severe itch and red welts reappeared on her body, I felt horrible that I couldn’t do anything, We reapplied the permethrin that night, and are hoping for the best….I have tried a bleach bath, using 1/2 cup of bleach and a full tub…I stayed in for like an hour, and the next day I woke up with crawlie feelings all over my body….I thought it was supposed to KILL THE SUCKERS…I am now rubbing the kids down in Vaseline to see if this helps..The doctor told me that the kids aren’t contagious after the permethrin treatment,,,, but HOW DO I KNOW IF THE SEVERE ITCHING AND WELTS THAT RETURNED ON MY DAUGHTER ARE NOT A REINFESTATION???? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO….I am at my wits end….and it’s only been 2 weeks of this…i am reading horror stories of people who have this for months and even years…..ANY ADVICE FOR KIDS….

  9. My friend didn’t think the permethrin worked for her scabies but it did. It just still itched for a while after using it (like weeks). I would not keep using pesticide on skin over and over and over. It isn’t good for you so just use it and then give your body time to get better.

  10. I was recently diagnosed with scabies. The doctor prescribed me the permethrin cream 5%w/w.. I’ve applied it several times before I sleep. And I just stopped applying today. I called to tell me doctor that it still itches. So I made an appointment with my dermatologist. It has been a good 2 weeks now. Am I suppose to wait longer?
    My body looks so gross now. It’s covered in red patches, and I can only hope that the reason I’m still itching is because of the allergic reaction.
    And yes, it can spread on your face..

    Does anyone know if it’ll scar?

  11. Hi Richie, i have found rubbing banana skins relieving the itch, the redness and it seems the enzymes also heal the scars. Paw paw skins too help but Banana ones are best. Wet sponge off after 6 hours and re apply new skins.

  12. Well I’ve had it for well over 6 months. Treated and it’d seem like it’d go away for 2-3 weeks and then one little bump would show back up. I’ve thrown away our piilows, changed bedding every night for a week, kept all our clothes in bags. The first few times I treated I did it several nights in a row but my Dr said it’s a neurotoxin and I didn’t need to do that again. First started itiching in January, thought it was fleas so speant MONTHS bombing my house and spraying my cats,in April went to the Dr, was diagnoses, have now applied it on 4 separate instances (no including the several nights I put it on in a row) and I don’ thave kids nor do I work in a place where I can catch it. No one I know is itching, I cannot figure out why it won’t go away or where it’s coming from. It’s just not fair. Going to the 3rd doctor in a couple of days, she said she’ll probably send me to a dermatologist, not sure what good that’s gonna do… but will try aaything to feel normal again. Though I know it doesn’t come from being unclean people, you can’t help but feel that way…

  13. I am having a real urgent time of thinking what I have wrong with myself & now my mom. I started with this horrible problem 3 years ago, I had gone to numerous dermatologist’s and they all said I was fine. Except for one doctor who checked my ex-boyfriend out and said he had scabies, and he gave me a medication called Elimite. I still have it now it is real bad, all over my face, in my hair & most of my body. No one seems to care they all tell me I have nothing, I am going crazy with this itching in my head & face,ears, shoulder’s, private area, feet, legs. I am going to try a Infectious Disese Doctor. Someone out there has to help us!!!!! Like all of you I lost all hope in doctor’s,and to feel normal again, I pray to the LORD For His Help. If you want to e-mail me feel free please!!!! The one thing that also troubles me I see some of the one’s that on my head either jump or fly off and also what color are these thing’s I see white, brown, and black. I am going out of my mind, I don’t even want to get out of bed anymore so depressed. I pray for all of you if someone get’s any new’s please e-mail me and vice-verse. God Bless You All!!!!!!

  14. I think I have scabies but not sure. I have treated myself for that a couple of times already-(DOCTOR GAVE ME ACTICIN) I hear though that it is highly contagious. My husband does not have them. I don’t itch between my fingers and toes and have no red pencil like lines on my skin. I shower every single day, so I know I’m not dirty. LOL - though I feel like it. This itching is driving me crazy. I itch on my thighs, buttocks, priviate area, stomach chest and really bad on my back. The itching is so bad sometimes that when I scratch I have left bruising. My husband gets upset when I tell him I need to clean the bedding again. he doesn’t believe I have it, but I don’t know what else it could be. HELP!!!

  15. One of the side effects of acticin or elimite they list includes possible redness and swelling so it can actually be an allergic response to the cream itself. At drugs.com they speak about hives and other skin reactions. However, it may also be a case of eczema that you have as they told me initially I had scabies but it turned out to be nummular eczema. I found that moisturizing my skin a few times a day and taking omega 3 oils plus avoiding allergenic foods was helpful. It took a little time to clear. If possible try to avoid scratching (yeah easier said than done!). Shower in warm water and not hot water. Use claritin or another daytime antihistamine to help a little. Also sarna can help with itching. They often use scabies as an initial diagnosis. Itching is one of the worst sensations and it really makes it hard to enjoy things. Good luck.

  16. My grandma got scabies because her roommate at the nursing home came back from the hospital with it. No one there wanted to talk about it, but I recognized the elimite cream they had at the nurse’s station from working with kids with scabies at the daycare I worked at 10 years ago.

  17. yes scapies do effect head, face , ears and neck. I was misdiagnosed 3 times, have used many creams . Seems like doctors are not knowledgeable on the symtoms, they do not seem like they want any part of it. I am still trying to rid myself of them going on 5 months. I have a rash on my back and side of face and front chest, still seeing a Dermatologist , still washing items everyday and doing the vacumn. I see new bites, can feel them crawl on my back. Is it ever going to end. New Medical Reserch is needed immediately.

  18. Doctors do not know what to do beyond creams that do not seem to work anymore. I have been suffering for five weeks now and cannot see the end of the tunnel yet. Recently, I went to Tractor Supply and purchased injectible IVERMECTIN to concoct a “Topical” remedy. I have been using 5ml(5cc) of Ivermectin with 1 liter of water mixed in a household hand sprayer. I sit around the house in my skivvies spraying any area I feel bug movement. It kills the bugs but after a few days I start to feel a little nauseas from the Ivermectin. It works to a point because these damn bugs hatch every 6 to 8 hours and dig in before I can get to them. It is horrid. Anyone have any remedies other than useless creams?

  19. I have them and have found that the medicine mentioned above does not work. I did away with them for a short while by using so much powder (diatomeceous earth) that I nearly drowned in freaking powder air. I saw an improvement with my clothes but do not get reinfected which is easy since my granddaughter re infected me as well. I noticed a silver dot is what they look like after a while. And yes it started with flees. But my granddaughter brought it originally from her other grandmother house in the country she works in a children center. The little demons even go inside the pages of your books and magazines. I noticed them in my leather chair. Plastic does not stop them. Forget using hot water they live thru it. I have boiled the suckers and when the clothes are dried there they are little white specks. I am combining the medicine and my powder is the only thing I can use for now after that I will try sulfur cream and medicine I will let you all know the result. I do have these for 1 year.

  20. To Xavrina - scabies are microscopic, so it’s not possible for you to actually see one without a microscope. You may have another kind of mite, or possibly lice. Lice can be killed easily if the nits are eliminated with a nit comb after treatment, but make sure to wash all laundry and bag everything for two weeks that cannot be washed in hot water. It is also helpful to use sprays to your couches, etc., with a spray specifically for lice or for other pests (Benzarid, and there are also natural remedies, like Best Yet spray). If you have a different mite other than scabies, like a rat mite or a bird mite, they are much harder to get rid of. We are going through an infestation ourselves right now - we are going on 2-3 weeks, and I agree, it seems there’s no end in sight. We are treating with Best Yet, but we may need to step up the treatments and possibly combine it with a chemical treatment like permethrin. I bag clothing up every day until it is washed, and I’m trying to stay on top of my environment. It’s important to also remember to treat your car or other areas you habitate. I wish you the best in your treatment - please do comment again, as I’d like to know if you find anything that works that we haven’t tried. Some other very expensive treatments we have tried aren’t working for us.

  21. how do i cure scabies rash ??? how do it disappear? wat is the most effective medicine for disappearing scabies rash??

  22. Justina Desormo on March 12th, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I have to say that for the last couple of hours i have been hooked by the amazing posts on this website. Keep up the great work.

  23. I am soooo bumbed :( I have been taking my son the the Dr for the last 4 months, first it was a rash from antibiotics, the meds for that didnt work so off the allergist he sent me!! Another month later and a series of shots I finally told the Dr. Im going to the dermatologist who said with out A DOUBT YOUR SON IS INFESTED WITH SCABIES!!now all 4 of us in the house have it. :( We did the Permethien Cream, I have washed and washed oh and washed some more. Everything clothes, beds, floors..You would think in this day and age, they would have an easier way to get rid of this mite!! I’m tired and next week we are leaving our home, boarding our animals for a week. Signed,
    Frustrated NH MOM

  24. hey my youngest son and i have been treated for scabies and didnt even know we had them we got treated with Lyclear and it has helped alot i have fully washed everything over and over again.. funny thing is my oldest and partner dont have it. just dont know how long until it is all gone and out of our bodies help me on that…

  25. Forgot to say that I put my cell phone in a plastic zip lock bag,sprayed by car keys after every use, got gallon sized zip lock bags for my netbook (cut out slots for the vents on the bottom so it would not overheat) and wiped down these items every time i used them. Also, when I felt I was clear of the scabies, I bought some cream at Dollar Tree called Utterly Smooth - travel sized so I wouldn’t contaminate an entire tube) and started to smooth this over my dry, flaking skin. When I took a shower, i used those exfoliating gloves (Dollar Tree again) and soaped up with the sulfer soap, gently washed over these areas, rinsed the glove after each area, rinsed, enzymes and then air dried and put on the Utterly Smooth lotion. I think this stuff contains bag balm - a substance they use to keep the udders of the cow from chafing from the frequent milkings. They also use it in nursing homes to keep elderly skin smooth and prevent breakdowns. If you can find it, great. If not, find some kind of soothing lotion. I only used the hydrocortisone cream when I was really really itchy–but again, after I was sure I wasn’t breaking out with new scabies anymore.

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