Scabies infection treatment with
natural remedies by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 10 2017
Scabies refers to the various skin lesions produced by
female mites, and their eggs and scybala that are deposited in the epidermis,
leading to delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction. Recent immunological findings
such as cross-reactivity with house dust mite allergens and an altered
T-helper-1/T-helper-2 pattern contribute to a better understanding.
Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.
Natural treatment with
nutritional supplements and creams, gels
Preliminary study of effectiveness of aloe vera in scabies treatment.
Phytother Res. 2009. Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria.
In an open, non-comparative study carried out at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 5 patients with scabies were successfully treated with crude gel of aloe vera; thereafter the efficacy of the extract was compared with that of benzoate lotion among 30 patients. Sixteen patients were treated with Aloe vera and 14 patients had benzyl benzoate lotion. Itching was still present in 3 patients in the benzyl benzoate group and in 2 patients in the Aloe vera group after 2 courses of treatment. The scabietic lesions virtually disappeared in all of them. None of these patients had any noticeable side effects. It is concluded that Aloe vera gel is as effective as benzyl benzoate in the treatment of scabies.
PLoS One. 2010. Acaricidal activity of eugenol based
compounds against scabies mites. Pasay C, Mounsey K, Stevenson G, Davis R,
Arlian L, Morgan M, Vyszenski-Moher D, Andrews K, McCarthy J. Queensland
Institute of Medical Research and Australian Centre for International and
Tropical Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Ordinary scabies is commonly treated with topical creams such as permethrin, while crusted scabies is treated with topical creams in combination with oral ivermectin. Recent reports of acaricide tolerance in scabies endemic communities in Northern Australia have prompted efforts to better understand resistance mechanisms and to identify potential new acaricides. In this study, we screened three essential oils and four pure compounds based on eugenol for acaricidal properties. Contact bioassays were performed using live permethrin-sensitive S. scabiei var suis mites harvested from pigs and permethrin-resistant S. scabiei var canis mites harvested from rabbits. Results of bioassays showed that clove oil was highly toxic against scabies mites. Nutmeg oil had moderate toxicity and ylang ylang oil was the least toxic. Eugenol, a major component of clove oil and its analogues--acetyleugenol and isoeugenol, demonstrated levels of toxicity comparable to benzyl benzoate, the positive control acaricide, killing mites within an hour of contact. The acaricidal properties demonstrated by eugenol and its analogues show promise as leads for future development of alternative topical acaricides to treat scabies.
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016. Therapeutic Potential of Tea Tree Oil for Scabies. Globally, scabies affects more than 130 million people at any time. In the developed world, outbreaks in health institutions and vulnerable communities result in a significant economic burden. A review of the literature demonstrates the emergence of resistance toward classical scabicidal treatments and the lack of effectiveness of currently available scabicides in reducing the inflammatory skin reactions and pyodermal progression that occurs in predisposed patient cohorts. Tea tree oil (TTO) has demonstrated promising acaricidal effects against scabies mites in vitro and has also been successfully used as an adjuvant topical medication for the treatment of crusted scabies, including cases that did not respond to standard treatments. Emerging acaricide resistance threatens the future usefulness of currently used gold standard treatments (oral ivermectin and topical permethrin) for scabies. The imminent development of new chemical entities is doubtful. The cumulative acaricidal, antibacterial, antipruritic, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing effects of TTO may have the potential to successfully reduce the burden of scabies infection and the associated bacterial complications.
Also consider anise oil.
Scabies in history and prevalence
Scabies and the resulting itching symptoms have been a scourge among human beings for thousands of years. Its worldwide occurrence with epidemics during war, famine, and overcrowding is responsible for an estimated 300 million people currently infested.
Scabies drug and pregnancy
Treatment of scabies with benzyl benzoate lotion or permethrin during pregnancy appears to be safe, at least in the second and third trimesters. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2007.
Ann Parasitol. 2013. Treatment of scabies: the topical ivermectin vs. permethrin 2.5% cream. Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei va. hominis). It is commonly treated with topical insecticides, but the treatment of choice is still controversial. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of topical ivermectin vs. permethrin 2.5% cream for the treatment of scabies. In total, 380 patients with scabies were enrolled, and randomized into two groups: the first group received 1% ivermectin applied topically to the affected skin at a dose of 400 microg/kg, repeated once the following week, while the second group received permethrin 2.5% cream and were told to apply this twice at one week intervals. Treatment was evaluated at intervals of 2 and 4 weeks, and if there was treatment failure at the 2-week follow-up, treatment was repeated. Two applications of topical ivermectin provided a cure rate of 63.1% at the 2-week follow-up, which increased to 84.2% at the 4-week follow-up after repeating the treatment. Treatment with two applications of permethrin 2.5% cream with a 1-week interval between them was effective in 65.8% of patients at the 2-week follow-up, which increased to 89.5% at the 4-week follow-up after this treatment was repeated. Two application of ivermectin was as effective as two applications of permethrin 2.5% cream at the 2-week follow-up. After repeating the treatment, ivermectin was as effective as permethrin 2.5% cream at the 4-week follow up.
Does aloe vera treat scabies?
A. I do not have much experience with the natural treatment of scabies but I doubt it would be effective as a natural treatment.