With a long history of irritating the skin of people for more than 2,500 years, there is a mite responsible for creating about 300 million worldwide cases of scabies every year. While people living in nursing homes or out on the street are the most susceptible, you are not entirely safe from the intense itching and crusty rash of the condition. Thankfully, scabies home remedies can help address some of the more persistent symptoms.
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What is Scabies?
An infestation of the itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei) leads to an itchy, highly contagious skin disease that causes a rash to develop on the skin. Mites are small parasites with eight legs that only measure 1/3 millimeter long. They like to burrow into the skin, which causes you to suffer extreme itching that worsens at night. You can detect a scabies mite by using a magnifying glass or microscope. They move by crawling across your skin, but they are not able to jump or fly. The mite becomes immobile when temperatures hit below 20 C .
Causes and Symptoms
Scabies is an infection that is spread by skin-to-skin contact with another person who has scabies. The mites responsible for scabies burrow into the skin and lay their eggs, which form a burrow (or tunnel) that is often described as a ‘pencil mark.’ The eggs mature within 21 days, producing more mites to wreak havoc. It is not uncommon for an entire family to become infected with scabies. An itchy rash develops on the skin – an allergic response to the mite.
You should know that pets and animals cannot spread human scabies, and the most common cause of the infection comes after having contact with the towel, bedding or clothing of someone with scabies.
Common symptoms of scabies include:
• Itching (especially during the night)
• A rash of red bumps or blisters
• Sores (or abrasions) on the skin from scratching and digging
• Thin lines on the skin
Babies affected by scabies mites may show a rash of pimples that develop over their trunk. Small blisters may appear over the palms and soles. Young children may show a rash that affects their head, neck, shoulders, palms, and soles. Older children and adults usually show the signs of scabies on their hands, wrists, genitals, and abdomen .
Home Remedies for Scabies
Scabies is an infection that affects people of all ages and cultures around the world. The condition is enough to make you think twice about sharing clothing or bedding. Outbreaks are known to occur in places where groups of people congregate, such as nursing homes and child care facilities. To gain relief from symptoms and put an end to a mite infestation, you may want to consider the following scabies home remedies:
a) Hot Water:
When scabies strikes, it is time to do some serious laundry. It is highly recommended to wash underwear, towels, pajamas, bed sheets, and other clothing used by an infected individual in hot water.
You can eat raw garlic for its antibiotic components, which fight against the parasites associated with scabies. Some people have also taken a garlic supplement three times per day to help along the healing process.
c) Benadryl :
If you are an allergy sufferer, oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl, can help treat some of the symptoms of a scabies rash.
d) Vitamin A:
The healing power of vitamin A can help encourage the construction of new skin tissue damaged by a scabies rash. You can take a supplement or increase your intake of foods high in vitamin A, such as dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, carrots, dried herbs, lettuce, and dried apricots.
e) Onion Skin:
Onion skins are made up of natural components, such as quercetin, which has the ability to soothe and heal certain skin ailments. To prepare a home remedy for scabies, put the skins of 12 medium onions into a pot filled with one quart of water. Boil the skins for around 30 minutes, and then allow the liquid to cool. You will apply the onion liquid to affected skin.
Some people have tapped into the healing compounds found in rhubarb as a way to fight infections, including those caused by parasites. For example, several chemicals in rhubarb have proven useful in healing cold sores .
g) Oatmeal Bath:
When the itching of a scabies rash becomes too unbearable, try soaking in a warm bath filled with a couple of handfuls of oatmeal. The oatmeal helps reduce inflammation, soften the skin, fight dryness, and treat itchiness.
h) Aloe Vera:
The healing power of aloe vera gel can help address the irritation and itching that comes with a scabies rash.
i) No Scrubbing:
Fight the urge to scrub at your skin. This will not help get rid of the mites, but only increase skin irritation.
j) Calamine Lotion:
Soothe excessive itching associated with scabies by applying calamine lotion to affected skin.
k) Cold Water:
Soaking in cold water can help ease the discomfort of uncontrollable itching that scabies can cause.
l) Walnut Wash:
Walnuts contain a chemical called juglone, which has a direct effect on the mites that cause scabies. To make a scabies home remedy, add several whole walnuts to a pot filled with two cups of water. Boil the contents until half of the water has boiled down. You will then use the residual water for a topical treatment for scabies rash.
m) Pull Out the Vacuum Cleaner:
To eliminate scabies mites from your home, it is important to vacuum all of the carpets and upholstered furniture in your house.