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Scabies is a contagious skin infestation caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, a tiny mite that burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. This causes symptoms like severe itching, rashes, and red bumps on the skin.
Anyone can get scabies and the disease usually spreads by direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual. Scabies mites can live anywhere on the body, but they are mostly found in the elbows, armpits, genitals, breasts or in between the fingers .
Most people with scabies only carry 10-15 mites, but in the case of crusted scabies, which is a rare form of scabies, people are infected with a large number of mites (up to two million) .
Although, scabies is usually treated with the help of medications that kill the mites and eggs, but some studies have shown that certain home remedies can help get rid of scabies.
Read on to know the home remedies for scabies.
Neem contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. A study published in the journal Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene showed the acaricidal (able to kill mites) activity of neem against scabies mites .
Another study showed that neem and turmeric paste was used for the treatment of scabies in 814 people. In 97 per cent of cases, people were cured within 3-15 days. However, further research is needed to evaluate its efficacy .
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, acaricidal and antipruritic (relieves itching) properties, which have been used as an effective topical treatment for scabies. A study found that five per cent of tea tree oil is effective in the treatment of scabies .
Another study showed that tea tree oil contains an active component called terpinen-4-ol which has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the survival time of mites compared to scabies medications such as ivermectin and permethrin .
3. Clove oil
Clove oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. The acaricidal properties of eugenol, an active component in clove oil, can aid in the treatment of scabies.
4. Aloe vera
Aloe vera possesses powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, soothing and cooling properties. A 2009 study found that aloe vera gel showed similar effectiveness as benzyl benzoate (common prescription medication for scabies) in the treatment of scabies. No side effects were reported in the patients .
5. Anise seeds
The essential oil extracted from anise seeds exhibit antibacterial and insecticidal activity which has been shown to help in the treatment of scabies .
Mango contains antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antipyretic and antiparasitic properties. The gum obtained from the mango trees is used for the treatment of scabies .
7. Caraway seeds
Studies have shown the effectiveness of caraway oil for scabies treatment. Caraway oil extracted from the caraway seeds mixed with 15 ml alcohol and 150 ml castor oil has been used for the treatment of scabies , .
8. Camphor oil
Camphor oil is the oil extracted from the wood of the camphor trees, which is used topically for relieving itching, irritation and pain. A study published in the Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology showed that camphor oil with or without glycerol cured scabies within five to ten days .
9. Lippia multiflora Moldenke essential oil
The essential oil extracted from the leaves of the lippia multiflora Moldenke has been shown to have scabicidal activity on scabies mites. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that 20 per cent of lippia oil applied to scabietic subjects for five days showed a 100 per cent cure as compared to 87.5 per cent cure from benzyl benzoate .
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Though studies have shown that these medicinal plants can help treat scabies, but before you consider these home remedies, consult a doctor.