Scabies is a skin disease caused by very small mites called Sarcoptes scabiei. It causes a lot of discomfort to the bearer. The person suffers from pain, itching, and skin irritation. If you are suffering from scabies, you should work towards curing it as early as possible. This is because it easily spreads through physical contact, like shaking hands, hugging, sleeping together, etc. There are many possible ways of getting rid of this disease quickly. Some effective ones have been briefly described here.
Getting Rid of Scabies Without Going to the Doctor
OTC Drugs to Kill Scabies Mites
➜ There are several ways to get rid of scabies without consulting a doctor. At the top position in the list is the use of over-the-counter medications. These medications are specifically designed for curing scabies on a human's body.
➜ Two common examples of such medicines are permethrin and malathion. Permethrin is commercially available in the form of topical cream while malathion is available in the form of body lotion. According to the rule of thumb, you should use malathion only when permethrin fails to provide relief from scabies.
➜ You will get all the directions for usage on the pack of both these medicines. You need to follow them strictly to obtain the best possible results. However, there are some instructions for usage that are commonly suggested.
➜ First of all, never apply these creams and lotion on cool, dry, and moist skin. Your skin needs to be in a normal state during its application. Over absorption of permethrin and malathion in the skin removes the active ingredients from the site where their action is needed.
➜ Secondly, apply these medicines first in the upper parts of the body, i.e, apply it first on the ears, neck, chest, and in this manner move further down. This method of application is necessary to derive all the possible benefits from both these non-prescription medicines.
➜ You may find it a bit difficult to apply the lotion or cream properly on areas where the skin folds, such as elbow, knees, underarms, etc. You can use a toothbrush to apply the medicine evenly on such body parts. Once done with the application, take a soft bristle brush and rub it all over the body.
➜ This will ensure an even distribution of the medicine on your body giving rise to good results. Leave permethrin on your skin for about 12 hours while malathion for almost 24 hours. In case you need to wash your skin during this period, you can do it but ensure to re-apply the medicine right after it.
➜ Usually, the first application of these medicines is able to kill all the causative agents of scabies. However, repetition of the application after 7 days or so will kill any existing or hatched eggs.
➜ Itching may persist for about 4 - 5 weeks even after the application of permethrin and malathion. This is because the immune system continues to react to the presence of dead mites and their excrement.
➜ If the itching persists for longer than 6 weeks, then visit a doctor. Permethrin is not safe for expecting mothers. Therefore, pregnant women should use a solution of sulfur in petroleum in place of permethrin.
➜ Permethrin and malathion can produce certain negative effects on many people. These include itching, burning sensation, and skin irritation. In case you develop such side effects, immediately seek medical assistance.
OTC Drugs to Lessen the Scabies Symptoms
➜ Intense itching is usually associated with scabies. To get yourself some relief from it, you may make use of non-prescription drugs like calamine lotion. You may also use over-the-counter oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or Benadryl to get rid of itching. Benadryl provides comfort especially at night.
➜ Many people tend to feel drowsy and sleepy after taking antihistamines. If you find your case to be similar, you should take it only when you are done with all the important chores of the day.
➜ Many times during scabies, scratching to relieve itching causes skin rash. There is a possibility that the skin rash may get infected by bacteria and fungi. In order to avoid such an infection of the rash, you need to take over-the-counter antibiotics and antifungal medicines.
Some Home Remedies for Scabies
If you want to get rid of scabies naturally, then opt for the use of neem (Azadirachta indica) oil and turmeric. By applying neem oil all over the body, you will not only get relief from scabies mites but also from pain, inflammation, infection, and itching. Make a paste of turmeric and lemon juice, and apply it all over your body. Allow it to dry for about 30 minutes. Thereafter, rinse it off well with plenty of water.
All the above-suggested ways of getting rid of scabies will remain effective only if you work towards killing the mites from each and every part of your house. Wash all clothing, bed covers, cushion covers, curtains, etc., in hot water (temperature around 45ºC). Air drying them may bring the mites from outside. Therefore, dry them with a dryer inside your house. Cut your nails and keep them clean, and keep your house as clean as possible. Vacuum clean the household furniture, rugs, etc., and throw the vacuum cleaner bag out after the cleaning is done. All these safety measures will definitely ensure long-term relief from scabies.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.