Neem and Tea Tree for Scabies
Unfortunately, I really believe it is easier to catch these horrible little scabies mites than what most information suggests. When I finally came to the conclusion that I had scabies, I thought back and tried to figure out how I got them.
I'm in a monogamous relationship, haven't been trying on clothes in any shops, hadn't slept anywhere other than at home nor done or been exposed to any of the things that normally cause one to catch scabies. The infestation started in my elbows, I think from resting them on a desk at school, which at first I thought just to be an irritation from the cold winter weather in the foreign country I've been living in just since last summer.
I'm an avid fan of tea tree oil in general and so I just started applying it mixed with a little olive oil to the areas several times a day.
After a few days I saw improvement and after a few weeks the pink itchy bumps and dry scaly skin seemed to be gone, but that's when I started to notice an itching in my pubic area. No longer could I believe this was just winter dryness, I had something else.
I used some permethrin which helped at first, but I didn't do a follow up as I'd convinced myself that I didn't really have scabies since my partner hadn't shown a single sign of them and they are supposedly very contagious. About two weeks later the itch was back.
We found neem oil online and I started spot treating my pubic area and it really started clearing things up. Since my boyfriend had no signs and really hates the smell of the neem oil, he was stubborn and resisted further treatment even though he did do the one permethrin treatment earlier on with me.
We went on an 11 day vacation, thinking that any mites in our home would be dead by the time we got back. Apparently we were not diligent enough, because about a week after we got back I woke up with the worst infestation. I found burrows and itchy red bumps on my neck and flanks.
Once I finally broke down and cried over the situation my boyfriend finally submitted to any treatment I thought necessary.
Months later after the first signs, I finally feel like we are now over the hump and I think they are not likely to come back. Drastic steps must be taken and family members absolutely must be treated no matter what.
We devised a system where we only used clothes and bedding one time and then in the wash they'd go to be washed in 203F temperature water.
Everyday we shower with neem soap and/or Dr. Bronner's liquid tea tree soap and every few days exfoliate with a mild body scrub. Afterwards we either spread tea tree oil (sometimes mixed with olive oil) or neem leaf tincture (which does not smell like the oil) from head to toe.
I would then use pure cold-pressed neem oil on any areas where there was visible signs and/or irritation and mixed in some turmeric powder with the neem oil to use in places where it would not show in public--turmeric will stain your skin very bright yellow if you're at all fair skinned.
Bleach surfaces that can be bleached. We use a diluted bleach solution on our mattress and pillows too. Boil items if you can, freeze them (i.e. shoes) if you can't. Stow away anything you can live without for two to three weeks in plastic bags. Wear gloves when you do the laundry, use the dryer if you have one. I would have used Borax in the laundry, but could not find it in Europe even though it's very inexpensive and easy to find in the States.
Both oils do seem to kill the scabies one way or another, but you have to apply it often enough that you get to the mites in the small window of time between when they emerge from the burrows where they've hatched and before they have a chance to mate.
Both oils also help to relieve the itch, though the tea tree does have a sort of cold burning sensation for the first 10-20 minutes after application, though I don't find it all together unpleasant. Neem on the other hand aggravates the itch, but only for about a minute or two and after which begins to feel very soothing.
Resist scratching!!! But if you feel absolutely compelled to scratch place a bag of frozen peas or an actual cold pack onto the area. The cold will numb the skin and the itch will subside long enough for the neem or tea tree oil to take over.
You have to be fastidiously hygienic, far more so than you should ever need to be in normal circumstances and diligent with the treatment.
Aside from the bleach, I think it is possible to remedy a scabies infestation with natural products and to me that is very important in an overly industrialized, chemical-happy world.