Home Remedies for Scabies

Looking for home remedies for scabies? Simply put, scabies isn’t a condition to take lightly. What might seem like a simple itch at first is actually the result of thousands of mites burrowing into your skin and laying eggs. Because they multiply quickly, scabies mites are a contagion. If you have it, you may unknowingly spread it to your family — who can, in turn, infect their playgroups, sports teams, offices or other gatherings.

What Are Scabies?

For that reason, seeing your doctor should be the first step in dealing with the suspected skin condition, before you consider home remedies for scabies. While some non-prescription treatments may help you get rid of the mites themselves and not just the symptoms, only a doctor can tell you whether it’s safe to proceed without a strong topical or oral medication for you and your family. 1

What to Look For

Home Remedies for Scabies - What to Look For

Many skin irritations can seem the same initially, starting off with itching and the hint of some sort of rash formation as the main symptoms. With scabies, however, the tiny mite species (Sarcoptes scabie) literally burrow into your skin, leaving telltale tracks that look like irregular bumpy lines, or rows of tiny blisters. Suffers of this parasitic condition often find that the itching is at its worst at night.

Because mites like to go for the parts of the body in which they’ll find skin folds, you may not be able to closely examine them by yourself, as you would with a rash on your forearm or thigh. Instead, scabies is typically found between fingers, around the genital region, on the scalp, under breasts, behind knees, on the backs of elbows, under the armpits, and on the buttocks. Younger children, who still have “chubby” feet and hands, may suffer the rashes on their palms and the soles of their feet. 2

Home Remedies for Scabies

Below you will find an assortment of natural home remedies for scabies to deal with the different issues that are common with the condition.

Itch Relief

Your doctor may recommend that you use a prescription strength pill or cream to actually kill scabies mites. If you prefer to not rely on chemical medications for all of your symptoms, there are basic home treatments that have been found to help with intense itching.

  • Cool compresses. A washcloth held under cold running water then rung out until just damp, will do wonders to ease intense itching when placed on the scabies area. Large gauze bandages can also be used. After you’re done with the compress, immediately wash it in hot water, if it’s a reusable cloth, or seal it in a plastic bag and dispose of it. 3
  • Oatmeal baths. A boon for everything from poison ivy to scabies symptoms, oatmeal baths are known for providing all-over relief to itching, scaling and irritated skin. You can buy colloidal (finely ground) oatmeal at the drugstore, or use your own non-instant kind after processing it in a blender or food processor until it resembles a powder. Add about 2 cups to a tubful of lukewarm water.
  • Baking soda paste. Baking soda is also noted for its anti-itch power, and like oatmeal, it’s one of the more readily available home remedies for scabies. Use it in the bathtub at a rate of about 1 cup per tubful of lukewarm water. To treat smaller areas, make a paste by adding enough water to baking soda for it to resemble glue, then smear it over the area and allow it to air-dry. 4

Mite Control

A review of worldwide treatments of scabies conducted by Pharmacognosy Review found a number of somewhat exotic ingredients that have proven helpful at killing scabies mites, from the gum of a mango tree to powdered fig bark. In terms of botanicals which you can find in the average health food store, eucalyptus essential oil proved effective in scientific studies. 5

A patch test is helpful to determine that you don’t a serious allergy to eucalyptus essential oil. While successful tests have been conducted by using 100 percent eucalyptus oil on scabies, it’s better to start with a solution that is half eucalyptus oil and half a carrier oil, such as grapeseed or olive oil. (You can increase the concentration if the coverage seems to be helping.) 6

Home Control

Whether you’re using prescription medication alone, or also using home remedies for scabies symptoms, it’s important to manage the mites which will be migrating from your skin at the first sign of any repellant. Pets can be left untreated because the mite species that causes scabies is not attracted to non-human animals.

The rest of your home, however, needs to be attacked with vigor. Vacuum your flooring, and dispose of the contents of the vacuum bag immediately. Wash all the clothes in your hampers, and even clothing in your closet that you’ve worn within the last week. Used towels, kitchen cloths, washcloths and bedding will also need to be washed and dried at the highest temperatures possible. If you have comforters or clothing that isn’t machine safe, put it in a plastic bag for a week and seal it tightly. (Professional dry cleaning will also work, but be sure to warn the cleaner what you’re treating so those items can be isolated.) 7


  1. Diseases and Conditions – Scabies, mayoclinic.org
  2. Diseases and Conditions – Scabies, mayoclinic.org
  3. Diseases and Conditions – Scabies, mayoclinic.org
  4. Itchy skin (pruritus), mayo.edu
  5. Plants used to treat skin diseases, National Center for Biotechnology Information
  6. EUCALYPTUS, WebMD.com
  7. SCABIES: TIPS FOR MANAGING, American Academy of Dermatology