If you don't know what scabies are, count your blessings! Scabies are microscopic mites that burrow under your skin. I am sure you can read all about them on the web, so I won't go into detail about their habits and what not. I plan on telling you how I got rid of them :-) It has been nine months or so now since I had to deal with them. It is supposed to be only transmittable through close contact. The only place I can think I may have picked them up would have been during my physical therapy sessions, back when I broke my knee. I started with an itchy patch over my belly button. Not very annoying. Sometimes it itched, other times it didn't. I think it took a bit before a rash developed. By that point I thought I may have picked up some poison ivy. I've only had poison ivy once before and it kind of has that same intense itch. I had scratched so much that any poison ivy blisters would have been wiped out! Finally the itching started to go away. But then I got an itchy patch below my belly button. Huh? I really couldn't figure it out, and since it was a small patch I thought I would wait it out. No sense going to a doctor for a wee little rash. Thankfully (but also very unthankfully) we had done battle years prior to this episode with scabies. So when the wee little rash started to go away, but then days later I broke out with the same rash all over my stomach I *knew* what I was finally up against. Scabies!!
Having gone through this before I knew a few things up front. One, I did not want to have to rub us all down, head to foot, with an insecticide (yes, that is what the cream the doctors give you is!). Two, I was going to be up to my eyeballs with laundry and vacuuming. Commence crying. And cry I did!! In that first week of realizing what I had on my hands (or more specifically my belly :-)) I tried a few things like aloe and some essential oils, all things I had on hand. I will say that the eucalyptus oil helped the itching...for the first night. But then...THEN to make up for the decent night of sleep I got that first night I was up with itching 10 times worse than before!!! It was that night I spent hours online trying to find a natural remedy. I bought this e-book all about scabies. I think it was called "The Scabies Report". I am very thankful it had a money back guarantee. It promised to give you all the info you needed to get rid of the scabies, and for good. It said that it would lay out exactly what you needed to do step by step. Um, not exactly. They gave you a list of things that may help. Most were to help with the itching, some to kill the buggies and others what needed to be done with your surroundings. This was not a step by step list!!! It was all a mish mash in random order. Not to mention I had already read all of this same info online myself. I only bought the book because I was desperate to find a step by step method to get rid of the itching madness! I got my money back, and decided I was going to have to come up with my own plan. Below is the plan I followed. I can not take any blame if it does not work for you. Everyone needs to do their own research. I read a lot of people trying some of the things I did and saying it didn't work. I believe I know why, which I will state below. Here is my step by step plan of what *I DID* to rid myself and house of the scabies.
1. ALL bedding and clothing recently worn, or laying out was put into plastic bags and laundered. I had them in plastic bags because with JUST our bedding alone, that took 5 loads of laundry. That is *5 LOADS* of laundry EVERY DAY....JUST for our bedding. Never mind the clothing that nine of us make and towels and such. Now you can see why I cried!! Anything that could not be washed but was made of fabric was put into plastic garbage bags and tied tightly. I either stored them in closets or in the attic. We have free standing back cushions on some of our couches and I bagged those as well. All of the non washable items need to stay in bags for at least three weeks.
2. I vacuumed all mattresses and couches. On all mattresses I sprinkled diatamatious earth (de) over them. Make sure to wear a mask!! Although de is non toxic, as long as you have the food grade, it can irritate eyes and lungs. I sprinkled the de on the couches and carpets as well. The scabies can fall/crawl off of you and get on your couches and carpets and such, although more likely on your bedding and clothing. Still, trust me you don't want to have to do this all over again, so I made sure to hit it all! That night I vacuumed up the de from the mattresses. It still leaves a coating behind. I got lazy later on and decided to only vacuum the de up once a week. With a mattress cover or sheet I was not worried about breathing in the de.
3. I made up a coconut oil/tea tree oil concoction. I think I used about 60 drops of tea tree oil to about one cup of coconut oil. I put this on during the morning, and afternoon. I put this from my hair line, all the way to the bottom of my feet. You do not need to worry about your face or hair. You have to realize that it takes 2 to 4 weeks for the rash to turn up where the scabies were. By the time you see the rash the scabies have moved on to the surrounding skin. This is one area I think people failed in with using the natural products. Not to mention that your skin will continue to react for a few more weeks AFTER the bugs are all dead! Yes, maddening, but true. I made sure to put pure tea tree oil on the actual rash site and surrounding areas.
4. Every night I took a hot bath with 20 drops of tea tree oil in the water. Please put the drops in AFTER you get in the tub, and make sure to really swirl around.
5. After my evening bath I put on another concoction. You will want to make sure to wear only old clothing, or clothing you don't mind being stained yellow forever. It was a concoction of coconut oil and turmeric powder. I just made this up until the powder was a loose paste. I applied it all over like the coconut oil/tea tree blend. Let it dry and then put on pj's. Your pj's and bedding will be stained yellow. So I just made sure to wear the same pj's (they had to be laundered every day anyways) and same bedding, again they were laundered every day.
6. Repeat all the above steps daily (or in the case of the de, weekly) for at least 4 weeks. I think I did this for 6 weeks. It took that long before my rashes all went away. That means that I probably only needed to do this for 4 weeks, but hey desperate times call for desperate measures.
7. I bought a sulfur powder, that I had to order from the pharmacy. I was getting really, really tired of that itchy patch on my tummy. By this time I knew the bugs were probably all dead, but your body still reacts to them being there, under your skin. That is why it takes weeks for the itching to stop. You are waiting for the skin to shed, and along with it the bugs before your body stops reacting. I had read about these sulfur based products but they were all 'not intended for pregnant or nursing women'. I was nursing at the time. But *plain* sulfur is fine. You need to make a mix of I believe 10% to what ever base you plan on using. I do not remember now what that means in actual measurements. Ask your pharmacist about the exact measurements. Sulfur works by drying your skin, and making it slough off sooner. It is also supposed to dry up the bugs if they are still alive. I suppose had I know about this I would have gone with it first! But I didn't. I ended up not using it for various reasons. I will have it on hand should, God forbid, we come up against this creepy crawly foe again!
Although I do not wish this bug on my worst enemy, if you are suffering I hope this will be of some help.
As a side note I talked with the pharmacist about the available products out there (all prescription). He agreed with my reading, that a lot of the scabies are immune to the most common prescribed treatment. He said though, that there are two other newer products out there. I think one of them works by suffocating the scabies. I think it was much less toxic than the other stuff. I don't remember right now. But what I do remember was that because it was new he said that most insurances, like mine, would not cover it, and it's very expensive. You have to realize that you need to treat all family members. A very expensive prescription for 9 people????? I don't think so!! Also, as far as treating all family members I only put the coconut oil/tea tree blend on everyone for about 3 or 4 weeks.
DISCLAIMER: Again, I am not a doctor or medical professional. I came up with the above information based on the reading I did on the internet. This is the plan I personally followed and can't promise it will help you. Please talk with your qualified health care professional before making any decisions.