Last updated: November 2018
Welcome to my guide on how to get rid of scabies for good – a real home treatment that works. This is based on my own scabies experience and I really hope it will help you too. This guide is quite long but if you’re suffering from scabies I promise it will be worth it! I know how bad scabies can be but everything you need to know will be in the guide below. If you have questions, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Best of luck!
Let me guess.
You’ve been scratching like crazy, you’ve got little bumps all over your body and you went to the doctor to ask what the heck is wrong with you. Then he told you the bad news: Scabies.
Now you’ve been up all night reading about how to get rid of scabies on Topix, you haven’t slept through the night once and you’re pretty close to tears wondering when you’re going to get your life back.
Let me tell you: I’ve been there.
Scabies are evil, evil things. They give most of us that horrible feeling of helplessness, as they burrow through your body taking over your life. But there’s good news:
Getting rid of scabies is actually pretty simple.
I made this site after suffering from my own scabies nightmare.
I have grown up with eczema my whole life, and quite a few different skin allergies, so I took the scabies hit harder than most. My whole body flared up in a wicked rash, which shook even my dermatologist, and I was homebound for the better part of a month.
It was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to go through.
But I researched.
I read everything about how to get rid of scabies. Medicine. Natural treatments. I tried everything.
In the end, after much obsessive treatment, I managed to get rid of scabies completely within a month.
Not several months.
Just one month.
Now I know a scabies infestation can feel like it will never end, but if you treat scabies properly, you will get better.
That’s what I’m going to help you with today.
Here’s a quick introduction to my treatment plan for getting rid of scabies within 30 days (don’t worry, I’ll show you where/how to get all the necessary treatments in the guide that follows).
How to get rid of scabies for good: The treatment plan
- Treat scabies with Permethrin cream. There are many testimonials online of Permethrin not being effective, but if you apply it properly, it will work. Read more below.
- Treat scabies with Ivermectin (Stromectol) orally.
- Optional: Kill scabies with a bleach bath or tea tree oil bath.
- Treat skin daily with all natural, homemade scabies cream (recipe below). This is perfect for killing any mites you may still have, but more importantly protecting and healing your skin after the Permethrin treatment.
- Quarantine your clothes/sheets.
- Optional: Use sleep aids to prevent you from scratching/spreading.
- Optional: Kill scabies with regular sulfur baths and/or sulfur ointment.
- Treat scabies with Permethrin cream (again).
- Treat scabies with Ivermectin (orally).
If treated correctly all scabies should now be dead. All that’s left for you to do is support your skin and immune system to heal safely and quickly as you flush out dead mites/eggs. I’ll show you some easy scabies home remedies to help you do this below.
Your scabies treatment plan in detail:
One thing you should know before we start, is that there is a large mental aspect to this treatment. Scabies do not care about your family and you being miserable and the ugly rashes on your skin that are making you depressed. Scabies are fighting to survive in your body, and you need to fight back.
This is a battle. You against them. You need to take this treatment seriously and be in the right mindset. Do you want your body back or not?
If you do the treatment correctly, your life will be back to normal in 2-4 weeks. If you fluff around and do it willy nilly, you might still be fighting your scabies battle 6 months from now. So the first step is – get your mind right. This is war! Implement your treatment religiously and you will win. But you need to be 150% dedicated.
Before we get started: One quick tip. In fact I want you to do this right now.
Cut your nails.
This is so important and so simple, and can have a big effect on how quickly scabies spreads around your body. Every time you scratch, you pick up mites and eggs, and these get caught under your nails. As you continue scratching, you spread them. So go ahead and cut your nails now. Also try to avoid scratching the best you can, and wash your hands regularly.
Apply Permethrin cream
When researching how to get rid of scabies you’ll probably hear the name Permethrin quite often. This is the standard treatment prescribed by doctors in most developed nations, and is very effective if you use it properly. You can even make it at home – I’ll talk about this below.
But first let me explain what Permethrin is.
Permethrin is an insecticide. Think about what happens when you spray a roach with a can of bug spray. That’s what you’re doing to the scabies in your skin with Permethrin cream. It’s pretty nasty stuff.
Now there are two really important things to know when using Permethrin:
- You must use it properly! Most accounts you read on the internet about Permethrin not working is due to people not using it properly. They usually just slather it on willy nilly and think it will work. It won’t. You need to apply the cream immaculately, which is not difficult but will take time. I’ll explain that in a minute. Just know that if used properly, Permethrin will work.
- You need to support your skin after the treatment. Remember, Permethrin is an insecticide, aka a poison. It’s not supposed to be on your skin! So once you use it, your skin may have an adverse reaction, which can freak people out. You need to make sure you treat your skin afterwards to protect it and keep it healthy.
Of course the first step is to get your hands on some Permethrin cream. If you have visited a doctor they will prescribe it for you, so that’s not a problem. If you don’t have access/can’t afford a doctor, and you can’t buy Permethrin over the counter in your country/state, you’ll need to make it yourself. Yes, you can make Permethrin cream at home. It can simply be bought online or mixed up yourself. I have a blog post explaining that here.
Now these are the proper directions for applying Permethrin:
- You must leave it on for 8-12 hours (don’t leave it on any longer – it will damage your skin).
- You must do two applications, 7 days apart. This ensures you get all the newly hatched mites you might have missed the first time.
- You must apply it everywhere on your body from the chin down (yes, everywhere!)
Now the first and second rules are easy. It’s the last rule that most people get wrong (applying it everywhere). Let me explain this further:
How to apply Permethrin cream properly for scabies treatment
To apply Permethrin properly, you need to apply it everywhere. If you miss a spot, there’s a chance you will miss some scabies mites. Then those mites burrow and lay more eggs, and your scabies won’t be cured. Then you go on the internet and tell everyone that Permethrin doesn’t work, and people start freaking out.
Some places that people often miss are on and around the ears, the bellybutton, the armpits, between the fingers and toes, and especially under the fingernails and toenails! These are all super hiding places for scabies, so make sure you cover those areas well.
Another thing people do is they wash their hands before the 8 hours is up. You cannot wash your hands for 8 hours! This will wash off the treatment, particularly under the fingernails where scabies often are, and your treatment will not be effective.
For a thorough guide on applying Permethrin properly, read my post How To Use Permethrin Properly To Kill Scabies. I highly suggest reading this before applying the cream.
Take Ivermectin orally
Ivermectin is an insecticide in pill form. While Permethrin works from the surface, ivermectin works from the inside (it’s often used on livestock).
While this is not FDA approved for scabies treatment in the US, it is used for this purpose in many other developed nations and it is effective.
As you are ingesting the invermectin I would only recommend taking it if you can get it prescribed from a doctor. The dosage is quite specific (200mcg per kg of body weight) so you need to get it right. It is very easy to take – you just take the dosage once and it’s done (some doctors recommend taking it twice, a week apart). It is particularly useful if you are suffering from scabies on the face/scalp, as permethrin shouldn’t really be used there (although rare, there is anecdotal evidence that mites do burrow in the head and scalp).
If you need help getting ivermectin, I have an article here that talks you through how to get and how to use it safely.
90% of scabies mites should now be dead. Yes, you read that right. If you take Ivermectin and Permethrin together, you will kill all or almost all scabies on your body.
There’s a chance you missed some, or some unhatched eggs survived, which is why we do a second Permethrin treatment in 7 days (we’ll get to that soon).
Your priority between now and your second Permethrin treatment should be supporting your skin to help it heal. This is something most people skip over when learning how to get rid of scabies, but it is super important. The home treatment I will describe below is ideal and very effective.
Contrary to what many people think, there are actually quite a few natural remedies for scabies. The bonus is, many of them are herbs and oils that are good for your skin too. After doing hundreds of hours of research (I’m a serious hypochondriac), I came up with a mixture of natural remedies that is perfect for supportive scabies treatment.
Everything can be bought from your supermarket/pharmacy or online from Amazon, so it’s super easy to make, and not that expensive either. I call it the anti-scabies body mask.
The Anti-scabies Body Mask:
Here’s what you’ll need:
Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil has been shown to be more effective at killing scabies mites if on the surface of the skin (study here). It is less effective at killing mites that are burrowed deeply, but that’s what the Permethrin was for. Tea tree oil is also great for your skin.
Neem oil – The neem tree is nature’s most powerful insecticide, and very effective at getting rid of scabies. A study in India (where scabies is an enormous problem) found that neem mixed with turmeric had an almost 100% cure rate as a scabies treatment. It doesn’t penetrate quite as deep as Permethrin cream, but it gets close. The bonus is it’s also super nourishing for your skin. Definitely one of the best natural remedies for scabies available today.
Neem powder – Like I said, neem is one of the best natural remedies for scabies; it’s one of nature’s insecticides, perfect for what we’re trying to do here. We’ll use powder too, as the skin absorbs oil and powder differently.
Turmeric powder – As above, it’s a good supportive treatment for scabies.
This is the turmeric powder I use, but you can use any regular turmeric from your supermarket.
Coconut oil – Coconut oil isn’t really a scabies treatment, but it is excellent for your skin. In this case, we’ll be using coconut oil as a carrier oil for some of the more powerful oils we’re planning to use here.
I like this coconut oil, but you can use any unrefined, organic coconut oil from your supermarket.
Clove oil – Clove oil has been shown to kill 100% of scabies mites within 15 minutes of exposure (study here). That is a higher cure rate than both Ivermectin and Permethrin used together! This is the most effective scabies treatment I know of and can be bought from any health store or on Amazon.
Anti-scabies body mask recipe:
- Half a cup of neem oil
- Half a cup of coconut oil
- 12 drops of tea tree oil
- 2 tablespoons of neem powder
- 4 drops of clove oil
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric
If you have any trouble finding these, you can get all the ingredients affordably on Amazon. Should cost you around $50-$60 all up:
Mix this recipe up in a bowl and you’re going to have an oily, leafy smelling concoction. The neem oil smells particularly strong, a bit like old frying oil but remember, everything in this bowl is natural, plant based, great for your skin and effective at killing scabies. It’s going to look like this:
The reason we are using this concoction is two-fold:
- We want to protect our skin, avoid any bad reactions to the Permethrin and Ivermectin and speed up the healing process.
- We want to kill any surface mites that may have newly hatched or we may have missed in our first Permethrin treatment.
Here’s what you need to do now. Take that mixture and go stand in your bathtub or shower. You can also just stand on a towel somewhere. Now rub it all over your body. Spread it absolutely everywhere, just like you did with the Permethrin cream. The advantage this scabies treatment has over Permethrin is it is completely non-toxic, meaning you can use it on your face and scalp. If you feel like you might have mites there, rub it on! Just be careful not to get it in your eyes.
By the end of it, you should be looking like you’ve been rolling around in the mud for an hour.
Now you need to let that sit on your skin for at least 45 mins – 1 hour. I actually left it off the soles of my feet so I could still walk around my house, even though I was naked and green and looked ridiculous. But the longer you can leave it on the better. Letting all those nutrients and oils sink into your skin will be great for the healing process. You do not want to flare up with an allergic reaction like I did, trust me! This natural body mask will help prevent that.
This body mask also contains some great scabies killers – clove oil and neem oil especially. If somehow your first Permethrin treatment missed any mites, this treatment will have a good chance at killing any that come to the surface. Tea tree oil is also an effective scabies killer.
One easy way to pass the time is take your laptop into the bathroom and just watch an episode or two of your favourite show on Netflix. It might feel weird standing in the bathroom watching Netflix, but hey, much better than living with scabies 🙂
Once the time’s up, simply wash the body mask off in the shower.
Note: If you have a history of very sensitive skin or allergies, particularly to pollen and plants, I highly suggest doing a small test of the mask first. Rub some into your arm and leave it for an hour, then wash it off. If your skin doesn’t react after a few hours, you should be okay. While it is rare, neem and essential oils can trigger allergic reactions in those with sensitive skin.
You should apply the body mask regularly – every day if you can. In my opinion, this is one of the most important parts of your scabies treatment. Remember, scabies are microscopic and it’s very easy for you to miss them. Neither Permethrin nor Ivermectin have a 100% heal rate (most studies put it between 70%-90%). Therefore it is a good idea to continue to treat your scabies every day for about a week, just to be sure you’ve got them all. However, you cannot use Permethrin every day! It is poisonous and will ravage your skin completely.
This body mask is the answer – it allows you to safely continue attacking the scabies daily. Remember, it only takes one egg or mite to be the difference between complete recovery and a reinfestation.
The body mask also serves the important role of supporting your skin to heal and avoid it flaring up (coconut oil and neem oil are both great for your skin).
If you want a more thorough guide into the natural remedies for scabies mentioned above, as well as the studies and science behind them, I’ve written about this in more detail here.
Again, you want to protect your skin, which is where moisturizer comes in. Any dermatologist will tell you that one of the best things you can do for your skin is to moisturize regularly. This mimics the skins protective barrier and allows your skin to heal faster and more effectively.
Dry skin is definitely the enemy here, so please moisturize religiously after your treatments.
You can use any body lotion or moisturizer you want, but try and get something that’s clean and simple. You don’t need or want any fancy smells or perfumes. I recommend this brand – it’s cheap and works great.
Each night after you’ve washed off the body mask, squirt a bit of moisturizer in your palm (about the amount of a McDonald’s ketchup sachet), and mix in 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. Then rub into your skin like a regular moisturizer and repeat until you’ve covered your whole body. Your skin should be moisturized and protected and scabies free. Niiiice.
If you really want to get serious, you can make a scabies killing moisturizer too as described in my guide here, although this is optional.
As a general rule, scabies don’t survive off the human body for more than 72 hours.
However, this is highly dependent on weather, humidity and temperature. I’ve written a very detailed blog post about this here.
Instead of washing all your clothes every day, which is very tiresome, I would recommend quarantining them in a large garbage bag. Every time you wear something, stash it in the bag.
You’re going to leave that bag for at least 72 hours after your second Permethrin treatment, in a hot environment, preferably under the sun.
If this is not possible, simply leave it in a hot water cupboard or in a room or closet that you don’t plan on using for the duration of your treatment.
Once that 72 hours is up, you can wash all those clothes at once. Make sure you do a hot water wash and dry them in high heat, either in heavy sun or the drier (ideally both). Scabies hate heat!
It’s time for your second round of Permethrin. This is done to make doubly sure you get rid of scabies, as it’s possible some mites and eggs survived the first treatment.
All the same rules apply:
Get it everywhere, even in your belly button and your butt crack, make sure it gets under the fingernails. Don’t wash your hands, have a shower in the morning. You need to follow all the rules of using Permethrin effectively.
This is your final Permethrin treatment and the final onslaught. Make sure you do it properly! After this one, all scabies mites should be well and truly expelled to the afterlife.
This would also be the time for you to take a second dose of Ivermectin, if you wish to. Again, it’s not 100% necessary but a good extra treatment if you’re willing.
By now, any scabies that have survived must be godlike or from another planet. It would be very unlikely that mites have survived the treatment above.
However, you can do the above 7 day treatment a second time if you feel it hasn’t worked. It’s very unlikely this would be necessary though.
During this time you may experience the post-scabies itch. Every time you feel the tiniest itch, your paranoia will probably get the best of you and you’ll fear the scabies has returned.
Don’t do this.
It’s very common for people to experience scabies symptoms even after successful treatment. This means you might see spots or bumps around the body, and feel the urge to scratch in the night. Try to stay calm. This is your body reacting to dead eggs, dead mites, and healing old burrows.
This means you will be itchy at times, but if you’ve done the treatment correctly be confident and don’t let paranoia get the best of you. The scabies are dead. Your body is healing. Try and stay positive and get through it.
Last step: How to get rid of scabies in the house
You might be wondering, what if there are still scabies mites in the house? What if they’re stuck in the sheets, couch, car seat, carpet?
The truth is, it is pretty rare for you to catch scabies from household items. If you do want to go all in, you can make a permethrin “wipe” by buying some permethrin and mixing it with water.
If you are using 10% Permethrin solution, simply mix it with equal parts water, and you will have a 5% permethrin spray.
Use this to wipe down the areas of your house that you frequent, such as table tops, chairs and floors. This is one of the most effective ways to get rid of scabies in the home. You can buy permethrin for this purpose on Amazon here.
Another effective wipe is bleach. Simply mix it up in a spray bottle and spray and wipe whenever you spend a lot of time on a certain piece of furniture. It also helps to be mindful of where in the house you go. Try and quarantine yourself to only the essential areas (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen) for the first 7 days of your treatment.
I know it all sounds very obsessive and over the top, and maybe it is.
Like I said, catching scabies outside of skin-to-skin contact is rare as they don’t have time to burrow into the skin. In fact, one study showed that only 4 out of 270 people managed to catch scabies after sleeping in a bed where scabies were present.
How diligent you want to be is totally up to you. If you’d like some tips on cleaning your house for scabies, I have a blog post about that here.
That’s it. You have won the battle with scabies. It’s an intense treatment but it’s a small price to pay for getting your life back. This scabies treatment worked well for me and was based on many hours of reading and research, so I hope it will work just as well for you. Don’t be spooked by stories on the web of people dealing with scabies for years and years. If you treat them properly, you will be cured.
Here’s a quick resource summary to get your treatment started. Everything can be ordered easily on Amazon using the links below.
For the scabies body mask:
Remember you should also moisturize regularly with a little tea tree oil added to keep your skin from drying. This moisturizer is perfect.
As for the prescription treatments, you should really get them from your doctor. However…
IF you need Permethrin over the counter, read my post about how to get it here.
IF you need ivermectin over the counter, read my post about how to get it here.
I’d also like to say that I know how crappy this situation is, but the best advice I can give you is to get started right now.
Scabies does not get better on its own.
You need to treat it or the infestation will simply take over your skin and that is serious misery waiting to happen.
So please do get started today and BEST OF LUCK. It would also be great if you’d come and report back on your results. We’d love to hear.
Lastly, I have one small request. I’m planning to build a Youtube channel so I can show you on video exactly how all these things are made and how to use them. If this site has helped you, I would really appreciate it if you would help me out by clicking the subscribe button below. I need 1,000 subscribers to get a channel approved!
Thanks so much and hope you return to health soon!
Update 2019: Due to all the questions I’ve set up a small community forum. I’ll be answering all questions there from now on so if you have questions, please post them there and I’ll get back to you asap. Also feel free to join in and share your own experiences and advice. Hopefully we can all help each other battle these nasties together! You can join the forum by registering here.