Various skin conditions can cause an itchy rash to appear, and Scabies is one of those conditions. Scabies is a skin infestation that is the result of a burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The itching and rash will occur wherever the mite burrows in the skin. Scabies is a contagious skin condition that can easily spread through close personal contact. It is a fairly common condition that affects millions of people around the world every year.
Symptoms of Scabies
After a person is exposed to the Scabies mite, it can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to experience symptoms. If the person has had Scabies before, it will take about 1-4 days for symptoms to arise. The common symptom is a pimple-like rash that is itchy, especially at night. The most common places that the rash occurs in kids are the head, face, neck, hands, and soles of the feet. Adults can experience the rash on the wrist, elbow, armpit, nipples, penis, waist, buttocks, or between the fingers. Common symptoms include:
- Itchy, bumpy rash on the skin
- Sores (these will occur if the person keeps scratching the rash)
- Thin burrow tracks (which are made up of blisters on the skin)
What Causes Scabies?
The Scabies mite is microscopic and can’t be seen with the naked eye. When the female mite burrows beneath the skin, she makes a tunnel in which she lays her eggs. After the eggs hatch they head to the skin’s surface, where they mature, multiply, and spread to other areas of the body or other hosts via close physical contact. Common causes include:
- Physical contact with an infected person
- Sharing clothes or bedding with an infected person
- Weakened immune system
- Sexual intercourse
- Daycare centers or schools (because many germs and viruses get passed around in these places)
- Because intense itching is a common symptom for people with Scabies, a cold soak can provide relief and stop you from itching, which can spread the virus. If itching is uncontrollable, try placing an ice pack on the affected area. This will only provide temporary relief as the cold helps to numb the area.
- Neem oil has been known to kill Scabies mites, and it also prevents their ability to grow and continue populating. It is a botanical pesticide that contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help to eradicate bacteria that is in the skin. Massage neem oil to the affected area and wait a few minutes before taking a bath. Continue doing this once a day for a couple weeks to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Cayenne pepper can help alleviate the pain associated with Scabies. The active ingredient, capsaicin, helps reduce pain when applied to the skin. You can mix 1 cup of cayenne pepper in a lukewarm bath and soak in it until the water gets cold. Make sure not to get the water in your eyes as the pepper will cause your eyes to burn. Do this once a day until Scabies is gone.
- Since turmeric has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help relieve the symptoms of Scabies. Take 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and mix it with a few drops of fresh lemon juice to make a thick paste. Rub this paste on the affected area, leave it on for an hour, and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this every day until you see improvement.
- Since coconut oil is an incredible moisturizer and has antimicrobial properties, it can help reduce the symptoms of Scabies if applied to the affected area(s). For best results, mix a little coconut oil with a few drops of either tea tree oil, clove oil, neem oil, rosemary oil, or anise seed oil. The combination of coconut oil and one of these oils can help prevent further infestation and aid in the elimination of the virus.
- Because aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, it is commonly used to reduce the symptoms of Scabies. Applying the aloe vera to the affected area(s) helps to restore your skin’s pH balance and relieve itching and irritation. Like coconut oil, aloe vera also has moisturizing and antimicrobial properties.
- Onion can be a beneficial remedy because it contains quercetin, which can help soothe the skin. The sulfur compounds, in combination with the quercetin, can help eradicate the Scabies mite and help prevent the infection from spreading. Take an onion, blend it, and apply the juice to the affected area. Leave this on for a couple hours. Rinse every couple hours and continue to reapply the juice. Do this until symptoms subside.