Dealing with scabies?
Yeah, that sucks. Trust me, I know!
But hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll be feeling a little better about kicking those little suckers out of your life.
One of the most difficult things about dealing with scabies is the treatments. If you’ve been diagnosed with scabies by a doctor, you’ve probably already been given the standard prescription treatments – ivermectin, permethrin, or both.
The truth is, these are actually pretty good treatments, because they work. Scabies is usually not a complicated condition to treat. The problem comes from people who cannot use these treatments, for a variety of reasons.
Let’s start with permethrin.
Permethrin is an insecticide, and is the active ingredient in things like bug spray and pesticide. Obviously, for a toxic substance like that, it is very harsh on the skin. In most cases, it doesn’t cause too many problems on healthy skin, but most people who suffer from scabies are dealing with broken or itchy skin, and that’s the worst kind of skin to put permethrin on. Also, people who suffer from sensitive skin in general tend to react badly to permethrin.
If you do plan on using permethrin, please read my guide on how to use permethrin properly. Most people use it incorrectly, which drastically reduces the chance of it working.
The second treatment is ivermectin.
Ivermectin is also a pesticide, but it’s taken internally in pill form. Often it’s given to livestock when they’re thought to be suffering from some kind of parasite or worm. It’s pretty good at nuking scabies from the inside out, but the downside is, you’re eating a toxic pill! It’s not hard to imagine what kind of damage that might do to your body.
I talk more about ivermectin, including how to get it, in this post here.
Like I said earlier, these two treatments work, and if you’re suffering from scabies, I do recommend that you take them. They may make you feel less-than-great for a few days, but it’s better than dealing with scabies for months and months – that’s for sure!
However, there are a lot of people out there that prefer to opt for a more natural treatment. And luckily, nature has given us an excellent treatment for scabies, that is both healthy, accessible and affordable to most people.
That treatment is neem.
The neem plant is known as “nature’s insecticide” and is highly effective against scabies. This has been backed up by both studies and anecdotal evidence, which I’ll share with you in just a moment.
The trick with neem is finding the most effective way to use it against scabies. That’s what we’re going to talk about next.
The original way: Neem and Turmeric Mask
The Neem and Turmeric Mask comes from a study that was done in India, where scabies is an enormous problem. Because the population density is so great, and there are many underpriveleged areas where people cannot bath regularly and easily, it becomes an ideal breeding ground for scabies mites to find hosts.
In this particular study, doctors treated scabies sufferers with a mixture of neem leaves and turmeric, and managed to achieve a 97% cure rate within 15 days. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite incredible.
The real question is, how do we mimic this treatment?
First of all, you’re going to need a quality neem product. Luckily these are easily available to you on Amazon or your local health store.
We’ll start with the neem leaves.
Unless you have a neem tree growing in your backyard, getting pure neem leaves is going to be difficult. My suggestion is to instead use a neem powder, which is simply dried and ground up neem leaves. Usually people use it for cooking or tea, but you can just as easily use it for a body mask.
The neem powder that I use is this one and have been extremely happy with it.
Next thing you’re going to need is turmeric. I like to use this organic turmeric, but it’s likely that any regular turmeric from the supermarket will do just fine. I haven’t been able to find any studies that prove turmeric on its own is effective at killing scabies, so it’s likely this is mostly added here as a supportive treatment (turmeric is great for the skin).
Lastly, you’re going to need something to mix it with to make a paste. You have many options here. Coconut oil is great and is also amazing for the skin, olive oil is also a good choice, or you can just use water if you like. However, I like to really bring the onslaught and double up the neem power by using neem oil. With both neem oil and neem powder mixed together, you have a super potent anti-scabies mix, which is exactly what we want.
Again, it’s important to use a quality, organic and pure neem oil. The neem oil I used during my scabies treatment was this one and I highly recommend it.
Now all that’s left to do is mix things up and apply the mask. I would suggest going about 4 parts neem powder to 1 part turmeric, and then just add neem oil to the thickness that you like. Then, simply smeer the mixture all over your body.
It’s very important that you apply the mask liberally and thoroughly. Make sure you get it absolutely everywhere – I’m talking between your fingers, between your bum cheeks, behind your ears – everywhere! Scabies can live on almost any part of the skin. Therefore you need to treat every part of the skin. If just one scabies mite survives, the cycle can start all over again and you’ll find yourself repeating this treatment again a few weeks down the track. Not good!
The next thing you need to remember is that neem doesn’t actually kill scabies mites directly, or at least it hasn’t been proven to do so. What it does very effectively is interrupt the breeding process, so that the mites eventually die off. Therefore it’s not enough to apply the mask only once. I would suggest applying the mask at least once a day, maybe even twice a day, for a whole week, and leave it on for at least half an hour. You might need to stand in the bath tub or a bath mat and just wait paitiently – maybe watch an episode of Netflix on your laptop while you stand there. It’s an inconvenience for sure, but doing this will give the mask enough time to attack your scabies infestation over the entire breeding cycle, and give you the best chance of success.
Ingredients you need for the neem/turmeric scabies mask:
After you’ve let the mask sit, you’re going to need to wash it off. One way to add another prong to the attack is to bath with a neem based soap and a neem based shampoo.
The interesting thing about natural treatments is, they work for some people and don’t work for others. This is a common observation, and tells us that natural treatments really do work differently for every individual. Maybe neem powder works great on your skin and not so great on someone elses. Therefore, with natural treatments it’s always a good idea to use a multi-pronged attack to get the best results.
Use a neem soap as you wash off the mask, especially on the areas where the itching and rashes are prevalent. Neem shampoo is also a great idea if you can afford to add it to the mix.
As a final tip, always wash your hands with neem soap while you’re fighting scabies. One of the most common places for scabies to cluster is under the fingernails and between the fingers. Nuke them every chance you get!
Drinking Neem Tea
This is one thing I tried to do while I had scabies, but the tea is so unbelievably bitter, even with a massive glob of honey added to it, that I simply gave up after a few days. However, I do believe it’s a great idea to treat the body internally with neem as well as externally, and if you can handle the neem tea, definitely try to drink a cup each day.
If you’re doing the neem/turmeric mask, you should already have a quality neem powder available anyway, so there’s no harm in trying!
One thing that I personally like to do is have a neem cream or ointment handy. This allows me to spot treat the problem areas, and I like the idea of having some kind of treatment working 24 hours a day. Before I go to sleep, I’m able to apply a neem ointment to work on the mites overnight, and anytime during the day where I feel an itch, I’m able to apply ointment again. As I’m sure you know, dealing with scabies is extremely draining mentally, so this feeling of actively treating the scabies gives me a lot of peace of mind while I go about my day.
The neem cream I used and can highly recommend is this one.
I really hope that gives you a good introduction to treating your scabies with neem.
Neem is really one of the most powerful natural treatments to use for scabies, and has the added bonus of actually being very beneficial to your skin as well. If the idea of the chemically based permethrin or ivermectin treatments doesn’t sit well with you, I would highly recommend giving neem a try. Not only is it backed by several studies, many people around the interwebs have reported great results with it as well.
As always, if you have any questions leave them below, and do come back and let us know how your treatment went!
P.S. This treatment is a simplified version of my Ultimate Scabies Treatment Guide. If you’d like to see the exact treatment I used to knock my scabies in just a couple of weeks – a heavily researched combination of natural and prescription treatments. It’s completely free for all to use – click here to go there now.