If you’re suffering from scabies right now, you’ve probably been reading a lot about different natural remedies for scabies on internet forums and other websites. What you might not know is, there have actually been several scientific studies around the world testing the effectiveness of natural remedies for scabies, with pretty interesting results.
How effective are natural remedies for scabies?
Surprisingly, some studies have shown that natural scabies treatments and home remedies are actually more effective than the prescription drugs permethrin and Ivermectin (we’ll discuss these studies below). This surprising fact can be due to various reasons:
For one, everybody has different skin types and, believe it or not, scabies have evolved differently in different parts of the world. This is why some natural remedies for scabies work better than others for different people in different places, and vice versa.
Also a factor is that scabies mites evolve and grow resistance to drugs. Scabies have been around for many centuries and have survived all the way into the 21st century. It’s no secret that they’re pretty resilient little things and studies have shown that in some regions scabies are growing resistant to permethrin and ivermectin, the two drugs considered the gold-standard for scabies treatment worldwide.
Why use natural remedies for scabies treatment?
Because of scabies’ growing resistance to prescription drugs, supplementing with natural scabies treatments may actually be standard procedure in the near future.
This is why I recommend a multi-angled approach when treating scabies. This involves using 3-4 natural scabies treatments along with the standard permethrin and/or Ivermectin drugs. With this approach there’s a much better chance at your scabies treatment being effective and curing your scabies within 1-2 weeks.
Scabies treatment usually only last 7-14 days, so a multi-treatment approach won’t require you to spend hundreds of dollars over months and months of treatment. Hit your scabies infestation hard from every angle and within a few weeks you will be cured. It is as simple as that.
Natural scabies treatments are also excellent for children, as Ivermectin is not safe for children, and Permethrin can be quite damaging to their young skin. The natural scabies treatments recommended in this article are actually very good for human skin and health, making them the ideal solution for treating scabies in children.
Another great thing about natural scabies treatments is they are safe to use on the scalp and face. Permethrin cream is actually an insecticide (yes, a poison) meaning it’s not safe to use above the neck, particularly not on children. If you’ve been feeling the scabies itch on your head and suspect you may have scabies there, natural scabies treatments are the way to go.
The best natural remedies for scabies:
In this post I’ll be going through the most effective natural remedies for scabies and natural scabies treatments. Everything on this page is backed up by real scientific studies, which are all cited below. My hope is that you can stop searching through piles of anecdotal evidence on the net and just get started on your scabies treatment with things you know will work.
At the end of the article I’ll also direct you to my favorite home remedy for scabies, which is what worked for me!
My doctor actually advised me to do this and cited a lot of anecdotal evidence that it works, which is why I am including it here. However, I am unable to find any scientific studies confirming this, and while bleach is a home treatment it’s not exactly natural either. Even then, bleach only kills scabies mites that are crawling on the skin surface. It will not kill scabies mites that are burrowed under your skin, nor will it kill the scabies eggs that have been laid there.
If you do not have anything else at home and can’t afford anything else, this is better than nothing, but bleach is actually quite damaging to the skin so I don’t recommend treating scabies with bleach baths often.
If you would like to try it though this is the correct way:
Fill a bath up high enough to cover your body with warm water. It doesn’t need to go right up to your head, just enough to cover your torso and legs. Add about 2-3 cups of regular bleach. It should smell like you’re going for a swim at your local YMCA or community center. If you like, you can also add a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Soak in the bath for 10-15 minutes, then towel dry and moisturize. I recommend moisturizing with a mixture of regular body lotion and tea tree oil. Body lotion moisturizes the skin, and tea tree oil also nourishes the skin while doubling as a great scabies killer too. Bleach has a tendency to dry the skin out quite quickly so make sure you moisturize well!
Again, bleach baths are effective against scabies mites on the surface, but use this home remedy sparingly. Bleach is not good for your skin.
2. Tea tree oil
“The in vitro scabicidal activity of TTO (tea tree oil) against human scabies mites, S. scabiei, demonstrated a superior result in comparison with standard treatments (150 minutes with ivermectin 100 μg/g; 120 minutes with permethrin 5%, compared with 60 minutes median survival time with 5% TTO” – see full study here.
In other words, tea tree oil kills scabies mites faster than both Permethrin and Ivermectin, making it one of the better home remedies for scabies. This is “in vitro” meaning it was done in containers in the lab, rather than on actual human skin, but we do know for sure that scabies die when exposed to tea tree oil.
3. Clove oil
“Contact with clove oil resulted in 100% mortality of permethrin-sensitive mites after 0.25 hours. Permethrin-resistant mites died at the same time but required higher concentrations (≥6.25%) of clove oil.” – see full study here.
Yep, you read that right – clove oil has a 100% kill rate, even against Permethrin-resistant mites! That is better than permethrin and ivermectin combined.
This is easily the most effective scabies treatment I have come across that is backed by a scientific study.
Despite its effectiveness, clove oil is quite a strong oil, so you should use it in small quantities.
4. Neem oil and powder
The neem tree is one of the most amazing things available when it comes to natural scabies treatments. It’s also one of the main natural treatments I recommend in my scabies treatment guide. It is considered one of the most powerful natural insecticides and the bonus is, it’s actually really good for your skin.
This Indian study found that an application of neem oil mixed with turmeric resulted in a 97% cure rate in scabies patients:
“The ‘Neem’ and ‘Turmeric’ was used as a paste for the treatment of scabies in 814 people. In 97% of cases cure was obtained within 3 to 15 days of treatment.” –see full study here.
This makes it one of the most effective and also most affordable home remedies for scabies.
This is the neem oil I recommend for scabies treatment. It’s best used in a bath or applied directly to the skin.
This is the neem powder I recommend for scabies treatment. It’s best used in a bath or applied to the skin, but you can also take it internally. Be warned – it’s very bitter!
5. Palmarosa oil
“Using contact bioassays, 1% clove and palmarosa oil killed all the mites within 20 and 50min, respectively. Essential oils, especially tea tree, clove, palmarosa, and eucalyptus oils, are potential complementary or alternative products to treat S. scabiei infections in humans or animals.” –see full study here.
This product is not widely used in home scabies treatment, however this particular study tested ten different essentials oils, of which palmarosa was shown to be one of the most effective (along with clove and tea tree).
This study found that when topical 10% sulfur ointment was applied to scabies patients, it resulted in a 91-97% cure rate when applied daily for 3 days. 3 days! It was most effective when applied at night, supposedly because during the day people would be sweating, washing their hands etc which reduces the efficacy of the treatment.
Personally I think one of the best ways to treat scabies with sulfur is in a sulfur bath. One thing you’ll notice about sulfur is it actually smells quite bad (like a rotten egg smell) but remember it’s totally natural and actually really good for you. If you have natural mineral pools somewhere near where you live that’s even better! Most natural hot pools are rich in sulfur, so find out if that’s the case and if so, go and soak! Remember not to soak for more than 20 minutes at a time, as the high heat can be dangerous over long periods.
This is a standard 10% sulfur ointment (I’ve never used it, but reviews are good).
My favorite natural remedies for scabies
My favorite treatment is something that I actually came up with myself – a mixture of the treatments detailed above. This is part of the exact treatment I used to kick my scabies in just under a month. I’ve detailed the whole recipe for you; you can check out the full details in this article here.
Good luck with your treatment!