Wondering how how to get rid of scabies? The bad news is that you've got a real challenge on your hands. The good news is that it is possible to eliminate the cause of scabies, but you'll need to be thorough.
Know Your Enemy
Scabies is a highly contagious skin disease that is cause by a mite. It's actually a parasitic infection of the skin. Symptoms include itching, rashes, sores and thin lines on the skin. On babies, the mites might also cause pimples on the trunk of the body and little blisters on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Scabies is usually found on the wrists, hands, abdomen and genitals of older children and adults.
The mites that cause scabies are attracted to the warmth and smell of human skin. Mites can live for up to three days without a human host, which means that clothing, bedding and even furniture can be sources of infection.
The first step in getting rid of scabies is to prevent the infection from spreading. The infected person must be kept away from everyone else in the home, as close contact with the skin will allow the infection to spread. If your family shares towels, hats, jackets or other items, stop until the infection has been gone for at least a week.
The quickest way to get rid of mites on the body is to use prescription medicated creams. The creams are applied over the entire body. Since scabies is highly contagious, the whole family may need to be treated, even if other members of the family do not have any symptoms of scabies. Sometimes, it is difficult to kill the mites, so Ivermectin may be prescribed.
You can get some relief from the itching by soaking in a cool bath and applying calamine lotion to the affected areas. The mites burrow in the skin and lay eggs, which is what forms the lines you might see. The eggs hatch in 21 days. You feel itchy because of an allergic reaction to the mites.
Often people try to treat scabies themselves, but because it is highly contagious, its best to see your doctor for the prescription medicines. Home remedies can be used safely with most prescription remedies. Olive oil helps to get rid of the scabies and it also soothes the itching skin, but does not work as fast as prescription creams. Bathing daily with a soap high in sulfur will kill the mites and their eggs.
You'll need to treat your home as well as the people in it to completely eradicate the mites. Bedding, towels and clothes should be washed immediately after use in hot water with bleach, as long as the bleach won't damage the fabric. Carpets, mattresses and upholstery should be steam cleaned to kill the mites and their eggs.
Don't cut corners when you're cleaning. Scabies mites are microscopic and can hide in the fibers of fabrics. Be sure to clean all areas thoroughly and to keep anyone with scabies out of the clean areas until the infestation has cleared up.
Scabies symptoms may not appear until six weeks after infection, even though the person with scabies is highly contagious. Learn about the early symptoms and how to treat this condition.
What does scabies look like? A scabies infection usually begins with a telltale cluster of small, itchy bumps.
Scabies is a rash that is an allergic reaction to the proteins of the human itch mite. Medication used for treatment is by prescription only.