When I first had scabies, my doctor actually recommended I take a scabies bleach bath before starting my treatment.
The idea was that a scabies bleach bath would kill mites on the surface of the skin, and the prescription treatments like permethrin and ivermectin would kill the mites under the surface.
But does bleach really kill scabies?
Although there are no real studies or scientific evidence that back up the effectiveness of a bleach bath for scabies, there is quite a lot of anecdotal evidence and people on the internet claiming it works. And although anecdotal evidence isn’t always reliable, it is still evidence nonetheless. If it’s worked for other people, what’s the harm in trying?
Should I do a scabies bleach bath?
My advice is: Yes.
If doctors are recommending it, and people are having success with it, you have nothing to lose by trying it. I took 2-3 bleach baths during my scabies treatment and I cannot say for sure whether it helped or not, but as I’ve said many times on this site, when you have scabies it helps to hit them with absolutely everything you’ve got!
It is also a very cheap home remedy and you probably already have bleach sitting around the house. Have a go. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, no harm done.
Is there any reason not to do a scabies bleach bath?
The only reason I would say is, if you have very sensitive skin, or you have skin conditions like eczema or severe allergies, then perhaps you should stick to the natural treatments recommended on this site.
Bleach is actually quite harsh on skin, but remember that your skin is also very tough and designed to withstand things much stronger than diluted bleach! If you have healthy skin, give it a try.
How do you use a scabies bleach bath?
It’s very simple. Fill up a bath with warm water, enough to cover your shoulders. Add 2-4 cups of regular household bleach, depending on the size of the bath. This will be enough to kill surface mites, but not so strong that it will damage your skin. A good litmus test for a scabies bleach bath is that it should make you smell like you’ve just gone for a swim at the YMCA. If you can’t smell anything at all when you get you get out, you didn’t put enough.
Soak in the bath for about 15-20 minutes (you can extend this up to 40 minutes after a few times, just gauge how your skin reacts with each longer bath), then get out and moisturize right away!!!
As I said, bleach is not good for your skin, so moisturizing is a good way to protect it afterwards. If you’re suffering from scabies, I recommend using a mixture of regular body lotion and tea tree oil. The tea tree oil is proven to kill scabies mites, and the body lotion is perfect for diluting it and carrying it into the skin. That way your protect your skin and get some scabies killing oils into it in one hit.
How often should I do scabies bleach baths?
Again the advice here is varied, but my recommendation is to do it every day for the first 3 days, then give your skin a rest, especially because it’s likely you will be using other scabies treatments on your skin too.
Remember, your skin is tough but needs to be taken care of. Try to balance out the harsh and regenerative treatments so you don’t punish your skin too much. Bleach baths can be a great addition to your scabies treatment plan, but just remember to keep them in moderation. A good scabies treatment will use a combination of treatments – bleach baths is only one of many.
Are you currently suffering from scabies? Check out my full guide to treating scabies quickly and effectively. This is the same treatment plan I used to treat my own scabies infestation, and I’m sure it will help you too. Wishing you back to good health soon! -Jon