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The Scabies Nightmare

Updated on February 9, 2011


Scabies, often referred to as “The Seven Year Itch,” is a highly contagious skin disease caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei, a parasitic mite. Contrary to what many believe, it is not a disease that is limited to any class of people. It knows no bounds and is merciful to no one. Rich, poor, young, old... all are within danger of contacting it. Though commonly spread by intimate activities, it can be spread by a casual handshake. I know of a man who actually picked it up at a hospital!

Once a mite gets on a person, it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to realize one has been infected. Tell-tale signs include intense itching, often at night. Sometimes you can see thin, what looks like pencil mark lines between the bumps, but many times you cannot. The scabies themselves, cannot be seen. However, at the beginning of the infection you can see that the bumps are in a definite line pattern. The rash often first appears under arms, on the abdomen, on the wrists, between fingers, on the thighs, on the ankles, and between toes. Later on, there may be no pattern to the rash and it can cover huge areas of the body. Sometimes the skin will get scaly looking, especially between the toes. Itching is unbearable and coupled with burning and pain.

Unless you have ever had scabies, you have no idea what the scabies victim is going through. Many nights he cannot sleep because of the intense itching. It is hard not to scratch and the individual will often claw at his skin causing it to bleed. It is so important not to scratch, both to prevent secondary bacterial infections and scarring; but it is also next to impossible not to. The extreme discomfort and lack of sleep can lead to depression, so this is something one needs to be on the look-out for.

Common medical treatments for scabies include prescription strength permethrin cream. This is the same thing that is sold as over-the-counter lice treatments, but in a 5% solution instead of 1%. Lindane is sometimes used as well. Creams must be applied over the entire body. For the stubborn case, which is resistant to creams, a doctor may prescribe Ivermectin, to be taken by mouth, along with another round of the skin cream. Unfortunately, not only do these not always work, but they can lead to many side effects, including cancer and sterility.

Though it is still just as hard to get rid of the scabies, there are natural methods. Frequent warm baths with epsom salt can be very beneficial. Baths with a cup of bleach added to the water has been known to kill scabies, but you must be very careful if your skin is sensitive. Tea tree oil and neem oil have both been found to be effective remedies. Other essential oils which may work are lavender and peppermint. Sulfur soap and lotions can get rid of scabies too. A fairly easy sulfur remedy is to add olive oil to sulfur, to spread on the skin. The above listed essential oils can be used by themselves or added to olive oil, either singly or in combination. Though a bit harder to find, adding essential oils to raw Shea butter makes a soothing and thick, protective lotion.


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    • profile image

      Feona Marxx 

      2 years ago

      Your pet very well may acquire these parasites from you.

      My cat did and died, IN MY OPINION, from all of the toxins

      he had to inhale and that were put on him to try an eradicate them from his ears - to no avail. He had no previous mal- health issues in his life. And he showed no signs on his coat, just scratching his ears -

      and certainly doesn't now either! - He's dead!

      And when I treated him, even with protective clothing on, I became re-infested!

      And - you can become re-infested from your pet!

      Neither Frontline Plus nor Revolution would touch, IN MY OPINION, the ASIAN variety I contracted from one or both of two wigs I purchased from Sherry Sheppard LUX HAIR NOW wigs thru QVC back in December 2014 and January 2015.

      They were manufactured in I believe the tag said Korea.

      I returned both of them, I didn’t like them. Too cheap looking!

      Didn’t need a wig, just thought it would be fun to have the 80’s look again.

      But I was wrong! Oh so wrong! And I’m still suffering.

      It took a good month before I realized what the heck was happening.

      My head felt like my hair was blowing in the breeze, except there wasn't any breeze - just the larvae moving about. . . ugh

      All bedding was trashed! – hundreds of dollars in the trash!

      Although now I believe I will succeed because I no longer can become re-infested! - as their nursery / incubator is DEAD! And they actually had a fit when they realized he was gone! - Seriously!

      During the first few weeks that I didn’t know I had them I was washing my hair in the shower and rinsing them down my back – big mistake - and blow drying my hair and blowing the things all over, including on my cat. They will bite thru running water!

      It’s a very long story – I am seeking legal representation, however I receive varying reasons for why the attorneys I’ve talked to won’t represent me. IN MY OPINION, I believe it’s mainly due to the fact that I’m CONTAGIOUS – but, that’s just my opinion!

      So I’ve decided to take the Social Media route to warn people and share my story. This is not a fun trip!

      And I am a professional sales person in the High Tech Industry - so this is not a low-come story. It actually does happen to all levels of society!

      I’ve even put us a site: feona marxx dot com, where I will tell in detail what occurred - it’s under construction!

      Chlorine bleach, which I had used on my back with great success early on, I started using on my head today. My pal’s been gone 2 weeks now, grieving is done, so it’s time to kill off the parasites that, IN MY OPINION, caused his death! He’d been with me 12 years!

      And my head feels great right now! I will continue to use the CB on my head until they stop reproducing. As I said above, they had a fit when they realized he was gone.

      I also use Benzoyl Alcohol in a cream / lotion carrier after the CB to kill off the ones that are trying to escape

      Benzoyl Benzoate will work as well, and it will also take off paint – thus I now get to touch up my hall bathroom!

      I did the Ivermectin as prescribed by the CDC at first and almost blinded myself. It's pretty nasty and it was the liquid form taken internally!

      It did blind my cat 3x until we realized what was causing it.

      At least I don’t have any internal worms now - grin

      The eggs/larvae are just on my head now, right where they started and right where the wigs sat! And because they had gone unnoticed for almost a month, they had a wonderful time duplicating and replicating at will!

      Peppermint oil is a natural repellent . . .and it really works. This is how I got them out of my ears and nose! Just an FYI!

      Permethrin and Pyrethrins did not do any good for this variety except annoy them into frenzy and mutating into a stronger variety. And I used 10% Permethrin / Pyrethrins.

      Plus the latest above are very drying to the skin.

      Neem Oil does sterilize them although it takes a while, and Castor Oil will bring them and their tunnels to the surface and you can wipe them off.

      Clove Bud Essential Oil will kill the eggs within a few days. However, with spot application - and it's not cheap!

      I am still finding sloughed off eggs coming to the surface on my left shoulder and back from the initial infestation and the Ivermectin application.

      It’s been a long journey, and minus my pal – I will get thru this. I will succeed!

      Thanks for taking the time to read thru this - FM

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      ***received via Doctors througout this nightmare has been far from correct or I am beyond concerned about my dogs health/well being and also the risk of reinfecting us as well based on assuming our dog is not at risk of this infestation (if we ever rid this horrid mite).****

      -please excuse my multiple failed post attempts of this, I am using my unreliable touchscreen phone.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      ****One more thing....we have continously asked our dermotologists if our dog must be treated as well (10 pound maltese/shih tzu mix) and they say dogs cant get it from us...however i am still fearful, considering all other info we have recoec

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      ****One more thing....we have continously asked our dermotologists if our dog must be treated as well (10 pound maltese/shih tzu mix) and they say dogs cant get it from us...however i am still fearful, considering all other info we have recoec

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      One more thing...we hsv

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      How much bleach do you safely but effectively use to rid the mites? And how frequent and what duaration of time do you take the baths? Also, is this different for children/4 yr olds (48 lbs) verses adults? I need as much info as possible, I have a 4 yr old in preschool, my sister was infected first and misdiagnosed for 3 months til I caught it then my daughter and continually spread throughout family and friends from there due to it taking 4-6 weeks for symptoms to occur. We have all done 2 treatments via the dermotologist already (my sister has done 3) plus all the vacuuming/washing/bagging up/etc possible. My sis is itchier than ever, and we still have the occassional rash, bump, itch at night too. Our doctor(s) have done nothing but misinform and underdiagnose consistantly (multiple doctors including dermotologists whom fail to even give a skin scrape test). I refuse to do more toxic cream that doesn't seem to work...I need an effective safe but quick solution!

    • profile image


      3 years ago


    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Which kind of bleach is needed pls tell me and help me to get rid of this deadly itching

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I just took a bath in bleach and I stopped itching also.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Having scabies is truly a nightmare i have had it for about 2 months now and just got Diagnosed today. nothing seems to get rid of the itching until i put about 4oz of bleach into a squeeze bottle and poured it all over my body, it burns like hell but it works. i'm not that itchy now and hardly feel that creepy crawly feeling under my skin. i did not mix it with water just pure out of the bottle, i do not suggest this for other people because of different skin types but if your brave and daring and tired of scratching give it a try, it worked for me, for now. also i used hot almost boiling water to clean off the bleach.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you so much regarding giving us an update on this subject on your web site

    • Dr. Wendy profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr. Wendy 

      7 years ago from Kentucky

      Thank you both for your input!

    • Bronson_Hub profile image


      7 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      I've never had to deal with these and thought it was one of those things that died out on the Oregon trail, kind of like cholera. Bookmarking this one! Thanks so much and I hope none of you ever have to suffer with it, but if you do, now you can get rid of those little buggers. Thanks for the hub!

    • RandomLife profile image


      7 years ago from Nashville TN

      Wow! I've never actually read anything on this subject before. Thanks for the great info!


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