Scabies is a common, chronic skin condition which causes intense itching. It is important to know about how you get scabies to be able to prevent and manage scabies effectively with some simple home remedies.
How Do You Get Scabies?
Triggered by human itch mite infestation, scabies is a highly contagious infection and spreads through physical contact. Small red blisters and tiny burrows form on the skin and turn itchy as a result of allergic reaction caused by these mites. The scabies symptoms take around 4 to 6 weeks to develop from the time of infestation. By eliminating these mites, the itchiness can be relieved and normal life can be resumed.
Scabies is a contagious disease that spreads through personal contacts, sexual partners, chronically ill patients and crowded communities. Since this illness can spread easily from one person to another, it can become an epidemic.
The main cause of scabies are small parasites called Sarcoptes scabiei or human itch mites. They burrow into the skin and lay their eggs below the dermal surface. They spread through the body, cause an allergic reaction and trigger extreme itching. One can spot these mites crawling on the surface of the skin, clothes and furniture using a microscope or a magnifying glass.
Home Remedies for Scabies
The first step of scabies treatment is the diagnosis of scabies. Scabies is typically diagnosed after the identification of a dermal burrow. Definite scabies diagnosis relies on microscopic identification of these itch mites, eggs or its waste. Treatment of scabies mainly depends on the symptoms and the severity of the condition. Certain oral treatments and medicated creams prove effective in treating scabies. Many times it is seen that the first treatment proves unsuccessful in eliminating the infestation and the mites continue to thrive, multiply and spread within the body and in the patient’s home. Hence, follow-up treatments become necessary for controlling and eliminating this infestation. Further, informing close contacts about the infestation is also very important for preventing the spread of scabies.
The following natural home remedies for scabies can relieve pain and eliminate scabies infestation.
Cayenne Pepper - The chemical called capsaicin present in cayenne helps to decrease the pain and itchiness when applied on the skin making it an excellent home remedy to get rid of scabies. A homemade paste made by combining cayenne and few drops of water when applied on the visible burrows underneath the dermal surface can eliminate the itch mites. The application of cayenne pepper usually causes a burning sensation on the skin. So the best way to use it is to add a cupful of cayenne pepper into a hot bath, sit in the tub until the water becomes cold and then rinse the body thoroughly with fresh water.
Clove Oil – Clove oil is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and analgesic properties. This is one of the most effective home remedies for scabies. The oil can be used to dry up scabies blisters in no time. A mix of 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp coconut oil and 10 drops of clove oil, when rubbed twice daily on the infected area, can help to relieve the rashes effectively.
Anise Seed Oil - Anise seed oil displays excellent insecticidal activity and can be used topically to treat head lice and scabies too. While this too is a good home remedy for scabies, the use of this oil is not recommended for pregnant women.
Rosemary Oil - Rosemary oil has the power to restrict the scabies infestation, relieve the pain and prevent the occurrence of secondary infection. Studies have proven that a mix of rosemary oil and clove displays significant anti-microbial properties and relieves scabies effectively. This combination is also one of the popular home remedies for scabies.
Neem Oil - Scabies mites can be killed and their growth and development can also be restricted by neem oil. Neem also relieves the itchiness and numbs pain and thus is an ideal home remedy for scabies.
Tea Tree Oil - Tea tree oil contains tarpenoids which are known for their strong anti-microbial properties. When applied topically, this oil fights the itch mites effectively, thus making a special place in the list of home remedies for scabies.
Prevention of Scabies
While the treatment options are available, prevention of scabies is the best way to keep such infections at bay. Further infestation can be prevented and the immune system can be strengthened by following these tips for prevention of scabies.
- All family members, close contacts and even pets of the infected person should be treated as an important part of prevention of scabies.
- Bedding and clothing of the patient must be promptly and thoroughly washed, disinfected and dried in the hottest setting possible. Keep the patient’s clothes and items of personal use clean is necessary for prevention of scabies.
- The carpet and furniture at their home must be vacuumed or cleaned using a steam cleaner with borax powder. The vacuum bag containing the mites must be thrown away immediately after cleaning the house.
- The scabies patients should stay in a single area or small room. The less things they touch, less there would be to disinfect. So, these individuals should limit their movement around the house and their exposure to other people, furniture and material. Limiting exposure of the patient to other people at home can help in prevention of scabies.
- The itchy skin should not be scratched as scratching can worsen it, spread the infection throughout the body and increase the risk of developing secondary dermal infection. Instead use of anti-itch ointment or moisturizers, as advised can help control infection and in prevention of scabies spread.
- Stress can increase the level of itchiness, scratching and the possibility of contracting other skin infections. The patients must try to de-stress themselves by practicing relaxing exercises like meditation and yoga. They can also use stress relievers to calm their mind and body. Keeping a positive attitude throughout is also necessary for ensuring faster recovery.
- By eating a diet rich in healthy anti-inflammatory foods, the patient can naturally detoxify their body, relieve the itchiness, swelling and discomfort, and strengthen their immune system. Some anti-inflammatory foods which must be included in the diet are beets, leafy greens, walnuts, salmon, blueberries and coconut oil. This diet is important for dealing with scabies and side effects of the medications.
Scabies is a disgusting and annoying skin condition which not only troubles a person physically but emotionally as well. Now that you know how you get scabies, the causes, treatment and prevention of scabies, you can surely manage it well. In addition to medical treatment, using these home remedies and knowing the ways of prevention of scabies, it is possible to control scabies and maintain skin health.