What can I use to get rid of scabies at home? What about olive oil?

Scabies is a skin infection that is caused by a parasite, which burrows into the skin and then deposits its eggs there. The eggs hatch to produce larvae, which then grow into adult scabies mites - it is the movement of these mites under the surface of the skin that causes the itching sensation, which is sometimes almost intolerable. In many people however, there is the additional trauma of an allergic response to the presence of the eggs and mites. Scabies also involves the problem of secondary infection - it is a natural response to scratch an itch, and if this impulse is not controlled, the constant scratching can break the skin and eventually lead to a secondary infection.

One of the most important things to keep in mind during a scabies infection is therefore to avoid scratching. A safe and rather effective way to handle the itching is to apply a cold compress to the affected areas, several times a day. Make sure that the cloth you use is soft and clean; simply dip the cloth in cool water, squeeze out the excess water, and gently press the cloth against your skin for a couple of minutes. If you like, you can also use calamine lotion to further relieve the itching and discomfort. Another possible option is taking antihistamines - as mentioned part of the itching with scabies is due to an allergic reaction. You can try using mild antihistamines that are available over the counter, but it is usually advisable to consult your doctor about the dosage and other details.

These remedies are of course only meant to treat the symptoms of scabies. To treat the infection itself, you can try using neem oil. Neem works as a natural pesticide, and thus kills the scabies mites. Scientific tests are not yet fully conclusive, but neem seems to work in cases where the mites have become resistant to other drugs, and is also suitable for people who might be sensitive to other drugs. You can also ask your chemist for any ointment composed of sulfur and petroleum jelly (unless of course you are allergic to sulfur) and apply this to your skin. The oil or ointment needs to be applied all over the body, so that the mites are unable to move from one location to another. It is usually advisable that all members of the household take the treatment, as scabies is extremely infectious. For this reason, you should also change sheets, towels, and clothes daily, and avoid sharing these items.

answered by G M

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