How to use tea tree oil for scabies
Scabies is a skin infection caused by a tiny 0.3-0.4mm long mite called ‘Sarcoptes scabei’. The mite will burrow into the top layers of the skin and lay eggs, resulting in severe itching and reddish tracks along the burrowing lines. Hatched mites will then come up to the surface of the skin and mate, and the cycle repeats all over again.
The itching is most noticeable around creases of the skin, for example upper legs, stomach, wrist, around nipples and between fingers. The small red lumps can become very dry and scaly, often worsening at night which prevents sleep.
Even though the mite cannot be seen, scabies is a highly transmittable skin condition, either by direct skin contact or through clothing and bedding.
The most commonly used treatment is Permethrin, however tea tree oil offers a natural, alternative remedy that will be more gentle for your skin.
Tea tree oil scabies treatment
Tea tree oil is a natural, herbal remedy that’s been used by the Aboriginal people of Australia for thousands of years. The oil is distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia – a plant native to New South Wales in Australia. Tea tree oil has been found to have antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Studies have shown that patients with scabies respond well to a treatment of tea tree oil. Researches found that approx. 85-90% of the mites were killed within an hour of being exposed to 5% tea tree oil. Compared to Permethrin – the typical over-the-counter treatment for scabies – only 10% of the mites died when this treatment was used.
Scabies treatment – using tea tree oil
Most sources suggest using a 5% tea tree oil solution, applying several drops to the affected scabies area of the skin twice a day. Continue with this treatment for at least 10 days for optimal results. People with sensitive skin should always do a test patch first to determine any possible reaction to the tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil can be added to your bath water for further relief from scabies. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your laundry – wash any linens and clothing that may have come in contact with the scabies patient to prevent further contamination.
Scabies and tea tree oil – does it work?
Yes, tea tree oil does work on scabies. It contains a substance called terpinen-4-ol which is believed to kill the scabies mite and any eggs, as well as soothing that horrible itching.
The tea tree oil penetrates into the skin’s lower layers, and begins the healing process with its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Tea tree oil as a scabies treatment
You must use a good quality 100% essential tea tree oil to treat scabies. Here’s how:-
- Fill your bathtub with warm water, then add 15-20 drops of essential tea tree oil. Bathe in this way at least once or twice a day.
- You can apply tea tree oil directly to the itchy areas caused by scabies – apply with a cotton bud both morning and at night.
- Wash all clothes and bedding in a hot wash (you can add a few drops of tea tree oil) and leave laundry to dry naturally or in a hot dryer.
- Continue the above treatments for at least two to three weeks.
- The whole family should be treated with tea tree oil baths at the same time – this will help avoid re-infestation of the scabies parasites.
If after 10 days there is no noticeable improvement using tea tree oil for scabies, then it’s wise to consult your doctor.
Be aware of any pets in the household – even though they don’t develop the human form of scabies, it is possible they can transfer the parasite back to you. Wash your dog using a tea tree oil shampoo.
If you’ve never used tea tree oil on your skin before, it’s always wise to do a patch test first to check for any reaction. Never swallow tea tree oil as it can be toxic. Children, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid the use of tea tree oil.
Do natural treatments like tea tree oil kill scabies?
It’s important to note that tea tree oil is a natural treatment for scabies and will work much slower than any conventional medicines or chemicals used to treat scabies. The scabies infection is highly contagious and can be passed on easily through physical contact, bed linen, clothing, etc... so it may be in your best interests to visit your GP if the infection keeps occurring.
Using tea tree oil to treat scabies you may find the itching will continue for several weeks as the mites die under the skin’s surface and become a foreign object that the body will try and destroy.