Treating scabies can be a long process, particularly if your case is severe or if you choose to use natural treatments in lieu of prescription medication. Even prescription medications for scabies are rather difficult to use.
However, it is important to use these medications exactly as directed to ensure that the mites and eggs on your skin are completely killed because mites will stay under the skin after being killed, which is what causes problems – 4 Post Scabies Symptoms .In addition, following post-treatment instructions to decontaminate your home and furniture can help to prevent you from being reinfected.
Before applying the right treatments, I recommend you this article – difference between flea bites and scabies .
To treat scabies effectively , you should use sulfur soap for scabies .
A. Prescription Medication
1. Permethrin Ointment
Permethrin ointment is the medication most commonly prescribed by doctors to treat scabies. It is an insecticide that kills the mites by disabling their nervous systems.
Permethrin is applied to the skin and left on for up to fourteen hours. Some people choose to leave the ointment on for longer, but this will increase your risk of experiencing side effects. Side effects include burning, itching and stinging. The skin may also become red and inflamed, but the redness is temporary.
To use permethrin ointment, rub it all over the body from the neck down. Most doctors recommend leaving the ointment on for eight to fourteen hours before washing it off in the shower. Children, elderly people and people with some medical conditions may need to wash it off sooner. Most people choose to use the ointment at bedtime. Permethrin does not have a strong odor or leave stains, but you may want to protect your clothing and bedding anyway.
It is important to cover all of the skin, including areas on the back that may be harder to reach. The back is one area where mites tend to congregate, so if you miss any of them, they will continue to reproduce, and you will have to complete another treatment. If used properly, one treatment may be enough to kill all mites and eggs on the skin. However, if you have had scabies for a long time or if you have crusted scabies (also called Norwegian scabies), you may need more than one treatment to eliminate all mites and eggs. If a second treatment is needed, it is best to wait about one week after the first treatment.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic medication that is usually used in treating worms. Using it to treat scabies is an off-label use, meaning that the medication is not intended for this purpose. However, there is some evidence that it does work to cure scabies, including crusted scabies. Permethrin is the preferred medication to treat scabies, but a doctor may prescribe ivermectin for people who cannot use permethrin or who need another medication because permethrin failed to work.
Ivermectin is taken in pill form. Like permethrin, more than one treatment may be needed to completely get rid of a scabies infection. The second dose, if needed, should come about one week after the first.
Antihistamines such as hydroxizine are often prescribed to people treating scabies. Antihistamines themselves do not treat or kill mites, but they are the best way to relieve the profound itching caused by the mites. In addition to being more effective than topical anti-itch medication, antihistamines have a sedative effect. This can prevent you from losing sleep because of the itching.
Even after all the mites and eggs are killed, it often takes about a month for the itching to completely stop. Many people need an antihistamine during this period to continue relieving the itching.
B. Natural Remedies
Many people have objections to using permethrin and other prescription medications to treat scabies. One common issue is that permethrin and other ointments are expensive, and may be too costly for some people. The active ingredients in anti-scabies ointments are pesticides, which many people are hesitant to use as a medication.
One key disadvantage of natural remedies is the time it takes for the remedy to start working. Depending on which method you choose, you may have to apply your chosen remedy to your skin several times each day for a week or more to get the desired results.
However, considering that it can take up to two weeks to treat scabies using prescription medication, many people decide that it is worth the extra effort to avoid paying for the more expensive ointments that contain dangerous chemicals.
Natural remedies work best when you use several different methods at once while decontaminating your home and furniture. Making your skin as inhospitable as possible for the mites should be your goal. As long as your treatment does not irritate your skin, it should be safe to use.
MSM sulfur powder is one of the most effective non-prescription treatments for scabies. It can be purchased online or at compounding pharmacies. It kills adult mites but does not kill eggs, so it must be used over a period of several weeks to fully cure the condition.
To use sulfur to treat scabies, mix equal parts of MSM sulfur powder with a normal moisturizing lotion and a calming lotion. Two tablespoons (28 grams) of sulfur for two tablespoons (30 mL) of each lotion is a good start. Apply the sulfur cream all over the body from the neck down before bed and wash it off in the morning. Use the sulfur cream for three nights. After ten days, the sulfur treatment should be repeated to kill any newly-hatched mites.
Some people choose to leave the cream on all day, which may cause drying of the skin but is otherwise not usually harmful. The odor of sulfur is very noticeable and may not come out of clothing or bedding, so wear old clothes and protect your sheets and blankets.
2. Essential Oils
Many essential oils derived from plants have insecticidal effects. Tea tree, lavender, sweet orange, eucalyptus and neem oils can be used in different combinations to treat scabies. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used on the skin at full strength.
Put five to seven drops of tea tree or neem oil into 3/4 cup (175 mL) of a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. You may also want to add five drops of sweet orange or lavender oil. The carrier oil dilutes the essential oil and makes it safe to apply to your skin several times each day. It can also make the fragrance of the essential oils less intense. Neem oil in particular has a pungent scent.
3. Decontaminating the Home
It is not strictly necessary to vigorously clean all surfaces in your home, since mites can only live for two to three days outside of the body. However, it is recommended that you wash bedding and clothing frequently during and after treatment in order to get rid of all mites and eggs that are shed from the skin. It is most effective to wash bedding, towels and other linens daily before using them at night. All clothing should be washed as well and clean clothes worn each day. Use the highest heat settings possible for the washing machine and dryer. Some people choose to boil their clothing and bedding.