Scabies sounds so daunting, and it can be for anyone that has it. Scabies is a parasitic infestation and itchy skin condition in which mites, known as Sarcoptes scabei, burrow under the skin. Scabies consist primarily of the body’s allergic reaction to the mites, their eggs and their waste — and symptoms may not appear for up to two months after being infested.
The itching is usually worse at night, and symptoms may include hive-like bumps on the skin. These bumps usually appear on the elbows, wrists, buttocks or waist and can also get underneath fingernails and around the skin near jewelry such as rings or wristbands.
The Center for Disease Control tell us that scabies is very common all over the world and can affect anyone. Scabies typically spreads quickly in crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people, such as in hospitals, day-care centers and nursing homes. (1)
Scabies can easily infect household members as well by sharing clothes, towels and bedding and is more likely to happen when the infested person has crusted scabies. Symptoms include pimple-like irritations or a rash, intense itching, especially at night, and sores caused by scratching.
The mites can live for up to a month on the human body; however, they can’t survive for more than 48–72 hours elsewhere, which is good news since tossing clothing and bedding into the washing machine can eliminate them. Legends have suggested that humans can get scabies from pets; however, this simply is not true because animals attract types of mites that will not survive on the human body.
Scabies can best be prevented by avoiding direct skin-to-skin contact with an infested person or with items they have used. There are things that can worsen the effects of scabies such as vigorous scratching, a weakened immune system, existing infections, inflammation and anyone living with a chronic illness.
While more serious cases may need professional treatments, more mild cases may benefit greatly from at home remedies such as this DIY scabies cream. This homemade cream helps soothe itching and can speed up the healing process.
The curative ingredients include neem oil, which is a naturally occurring pesticide found in seeds from the neem tree. In particular, azadirachtin is the most active component and is used for for repelling and killing pests. (2) This scabies cream also contains benefit-rich turmeric, which has healing properties both externally and internally.
Turmeric Antiseptic Scabies Cream
- 2 ounces neem oil
- 1 ounce coconut oil
- 1 ounce ground turmeric
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- Place all ingredients into a bowl and whip to the consistency of a cream.
- Apply the cream on the affected area two or three times a day.
- You can leave it on or gently wash off after 15–20 minutes.
- (Turmeric may stain clothing so be careful.)