Scabies and hot showers

Is it a good idea to take hot showers when I have scabies?

Short answer, no.

Yes it feels good. Yes you get (temporary) relief. But it might do more harm than good.

For one, hot showers will not help kill scabies and can actually make your itching worse.

Hot water will dry out and irritate your skin which is further damaging it’s already challenged state. The water strips away natural oils from the outer layer, and without those oils your skin becomes dry and irritated.

What’s the solution?

Cold showers. They keep your pores closed and your skin refreshed, which is important for your body’s response to scabies. 

Cold showers also have surprisingly underrated benefits.

Benefits of cold showers include:

  • Strengthens immunity
  • Keeps skin and hair healthy
  • Improves circulation
  • Relieves depression
  • Increases testosterone
  • Increases energy and wellbeing
  • Increases fertility

Source

But what if you hate cold showers . . . 

While that list above has some great (somewhat questionable) benefits listed, you still might not be able to bear an ice bath.

If that’s you then here is a good solution:

Start your shower with warm water, the less heat the better. Heat opens your pores for cleansing, but don’t overdo it. Too hot and you are doing damage.

Once you’re clean then gradually lower the temperature – it should be considerably colder by the time you shut the water off.

If you start your shower warm and gradually lower the temperature it removes the shock element, and it’s really not so bad after that. 

The most important thing is to end the shower cold. If you want to reduce how itchy your skin is, leaving the bathroom with already cold and soothed skin makes you far less irritable.

If you want more tips on reducing itchiness then check out 10 Anti-itch Remedies for Scabies.

After you have been cured feel free to return to hot showers. But when while your skin is still under attack I highly recommend that you in the least make an effort to end your showers with cold water.

For more information on treating scabies check out these popular posts:

A Simple 3 Step Guide to Eradicate Scabies

How to Buy Over the Counter Permethrin Cream Online

Life Without Scabies Youtube Videos 

 

 

A Simple 3 Step Guide to Treating and Curing Scabies

As a many of you have found out, scabies can be hard to kill.

They’re a resilient bunch and it’s very hard to tell if you’ve actually killed them all or not. 

I dealt with scabies for quite a few months and experienced a ton of confusion around treatment and determining whether I had eradicated them or not.

In the end what worked for me was to combine ivermectin and permethrin in conjunction with thoroughly cleaning my environment. I also found it incredibly important to do my best to avoid other infected (or potentially infected) people and help them get treatment.

So without further ado, here are my 3 steps to curing scabies. 

Step #1: Invest in some Ivermectin and/or Permethrin.

Ivermectin should be one of your go to treatment options. 

When ingested it spreads to the skin where it is consumed by the mites and effectively kills them in their burrows. It has a very low level of human toxicity and boasts high success rates. 

Ivermectin’s ability to spread to ALL parts of the skin is very important. If you simply try to cure scabies with only topical applications there is a good chance you will not cover your skin thoroughly enough. If this happens the mites will be able to move to other parts of the skin and repopulate, as well as move deeper into the skin to avoid your applications.

Ivermectin stops this risk from happening.

You have two options for obtaining Ivermectin:

Option 1#) If you were diagnosed by your doctor ask for a prescription for Ivermectin (branded as Stromectol). It will cost about $70 for two doses. 

Option 2#) Buy it over the counter.

So you can go to your doctor, get a prescription and pick up ivermectin at the pharmacy but there’s a (cheaper) alternative. Aside from treating humans ivermectin is also used to treat animals for parasites, worms and mange, so you can buy it online or at a local feed store. (link above, option 2#)

Because of this you can pick up ivermectin without a prescription and for very cheap; only it is marketed for animals.

Please note that while you are using essentially the same medication that the doctor would prescribe, the specific product is sold as a treatment for animals, so if in the rare case that you have an allergic reaction to ivermectin you are on your own, liability wise. 

Also: you must be cautious when choosing which ivermectin product to buy over the counter. You want to buy the brand without added ingredients, specifically avoiding those with additives for eradicating heart worms. Again, member to not pick up ivermectin with added ingredients for heart worms.

Here is what I consider to be the best over the counter Ivermectin option:

Durvet Ivermectin Paste -This is a paste that is also consumed orally like Stromectol and Noromec. The tube comes with mark for dosing, each mark meant to treat 250lbs of weight. So, if you are 250lb, take one mark worth of the bottle. If you 150, estimate to that amount.

Here is a link to a great and very thorough guide to using Ivermectin. The author has contracted scabies multiple times while working with the homeless and has cured herself with Ivermectin every time. Her guide addresses frequency of use and correct dosage amounts. 

IMPORTANT: Do not hold Lifewithoutscabies accountable for your application of any non-human medications. This is not medical advice. Use at your own risk! I repeat, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! Although Ivermectin is very low in human toxicity (you could likely take more than the recommended dose) it carries with it some potential risks. Do your own research before deciding to use this treatment!

Pick up some 5% Permethrin Cream

I highly recommend you use Permethrin in addition to oral Ivermectin. Along with proper house cleaning this is your best bet to cure yourself on the first attempt.


Currently you cannot buy medicated 5% permethrin cream online via Amazon (you used to be able to, but not longer). The best place online to purchase 5% permethrin is eBay. You can find it listed here.

You want the 5% cream tubes that you can get through your doctor and pharmacist, or you can buy it online. The Permethrin product I recommend is over the counter and the exact same product that the doctors will prescribe. 

Either ask your doctor about Permethrin cream or if you don’t have health insurance and are looking to pick up some Permethrin without the doctors visit, consult our post on how to buy 5% Permethrin cream over the counter.

Step #2: Remove scabies from your immediate environment

Ivermectin and Permethrin will kill off all of the live scabies and eggs on your body, but scabies can live off of your body for days and infect you later on, so you want to take care of the places you frequent.

  • Your house
  • Your car
  • Your office
  • Your clothes
  • Your pets
  • Anything else you come into contact with

If you don’t take care of these things then your initial eradication might not save you, since you could just get reinfected days later. Some household items to clean your environment include:

Treat your clothes and environment with these items frequently and thoroughly until your infestation is resolved. 

Another option I would recommend is that you take a short vacation from your environment and treat yourself in another location. Scabies are said to be able to live roughly 4 to 14 days off of a human host. So if you can take two weeks away from home that would mean you don’t have to treat all of your stuff.

Step #3) Keep away from Scabies in your extended environment

First, get to know this list of places post very thoroughly. It lays out 13 places you are most likely to contract and share scabies.

Even after you’ve killed off all of the mites in your skin, in your families skin and in your environment you still have to be on the lookout.

Hopefully you have found out where your infestation came from. If not, then you could come in contact with that person or place again and start the nightmare all over again (albeit better prepared this time), but still, you don’t want that.

In addition to where you got infected from in the first place, you have to be aware of people that YOU could have possibly infected.

Friends and family that you came in contact with or even just shared a car/room with for awhile could easily have picked up your mites. All it takes is a house mate or friend to share a towel with you and boom there is a decent chance they were infected.

So be a responsible person/friend and make sure your friends get treated. Even if you warn them though, they might not follow through or do the treatment very extensively. At this point it is out of your hands, and you owe it to yourself to keep away from them until they get their shit figured out. It sucks, but there aren’t really any other options if you want to avoid becoming reinfected.

So with these three tips you should resolve any scabies infestation. I hope it all works out for you!

Some additional Words of Advice

Avoid scratching your skin incessently

It buries mites and their debris deeper in the skin, making for a longer, more itchy post-mite recovery period while your body works to reject all if this waste.

It can also spread the mites throughout any environment that you scratch in. When you scratch dead skin is introduced into the air, and loose mites will travel along with that dead skin.

Not only can scabies live without food for days off of your body, but with that dead skin to cling to and feed off of their survivability increases tenfold.

Avoid hot showers.

Hot showers dry out your skin and make it harder for your body to heal over the damaged skin to regrow and the fight infection.

Take cold showers if you can handle it. You will itch less, your skin will thank you and your recovery will hasten. If you can’t bear cold showers, opt for luke warm water and end your shower with a few seconds of cold to close up your pores.

Do what you can to keep your spirits up.

Your immune system and overall health will function best if you are at ease and avoid the temptation to dwell in thought all day.

Keep yourself occupied and don’t get too down on the situation. Thinking about how shitty this condition is all day will get you stuck in a rut. Remember, your body wants your love and contentment to heal.

Go do something fun and engaging to keep yourself occupied. Just don’t spread the mites!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We’ve come to the end of the guide. I really hope all of this has helped you out. I know it’s a bit overwhelming, but take action and you’ve got this!

Good luck and I wish you the best.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis, treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The information is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than to suggest that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The information and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on information in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

3 Things to Know About using Tea Tree Oil For Scabies

Tea Tree Oil and Scabies

Tea Tree Essential Oil and Scabies

When it comes to treating scabies there’s a lot of debate about what works.

One things for sure, when discussing common ingredients for scabies tea tree essential oil gets brought up a lot.

And for good reason.

Related: How to Get Rid of Scabies at Home Fast

Tea tree oil has been used for thousands of years as a disinfectant and antiseptic. It’s effective for the treatment of candida and all sorts of infections, including ringworm, sunburn, acne, athlete’s foot, tooth aches and pyorrhea. This is not an exhaustive list, either.

It’s just plain powerful stuff. It’s antiseptic action is thought to be one hundred times more powerful than carbolic acid. And unlike carbolic acid, it’s safe for humans to use.

The real question though here is – how effectiveness is tea tree at killing scabies?

Below we’ve listed three of the most important questions and considerations for you to think about.

1.) Does tea tree kill oil scabies mites?

Yes it does – but there’s a catch.

If properly exposed to tea tree oil your scabies mites will die. And according to clinical studies, they’ll die fast.

The trouble comes when we try to properly expose the mites to the oil.

While there are many “surface walkers” on our skin at any given time, there’s also plenty of momma mites deeply burrowed and protected.

And how are they protected?

For one they are below the skin, sometimes underneath many layers of flesh.

But there’s a bigger issue still. Through their saliva the mites secrete a chemical concoction that shields them from chemical attack. Scabies aren’t dumb, after all. They’re still a plague us in the 21st century for a reason. They’ve evolved for this.

“Surface walkers” by the way refers to the mites that venture out on the skin to find new territories. These travelers reside on the top layer of skin where they are indeed vulnerable to tea tree oil. So you can topically apply tea tree and kill a fare share of them.

But remember, they don’t always have to come to the surface if they don’t want to.

If you’ve been infested for awhile you’ve likely seen the track marks they leave behind. This shows that they’re able to burrow they’re way from place to place without being fully exposed.

Anyway, back to the momma scabies and their protective barriers of saliva.

They’re well protected in there. So much so that soaking in a bath that’s got high concentrations of tea tree still might not kill them.

But, guess what. It gets worse. (I’m sorry, i know scabies are one of the most terrible thing ever, i wish i could tell you that it gets easier)

It’s those eggs. Those eggs are even MORE protected. That adorable little mite that’s yet to hatch is protected by an egg shell that can withstand most things thrown at it.

Sorry to say, but tea tree (and the vast majority of natural treatments, for that matter) won’t get to those damn eggs.

2.) Will Tea Tree Essential Oil cure me of Scabies?

While it does an adequate job of disinfecting the outside of your skin and your environment. That’s for sure. But it just doesn’t have the firepower to oust a whole colony.

I’ve already covered why in the first section, but to recap:

  • Tea tree oil does kill unprotected and vulnerable scabies mites.
  • But is ineffective when it comes to treating deeply burrowed mites.
  • Is also ineffective at killing unhatched mite eggs.

So, sadly, we can’t recommend tea tree as an all-around cure for scabies. I learned this first hand when I was infested. I tried natural approaches to cure scabies for multiple months. Tea tree oil included. And what did i get out of it? Well whenever I smell it i’m reminded of scabies.

Not the best association to have.

The best way to kill scabies (and only way that we recommend here) is to use oral ivermectin and/or permethrin cream. Simultaneous use of both is highly recommended.

If you want to learn more about ivermectin and permethrin treatments follow the links below:

3.) How Tea Tree Essential Oil can help with Scabies

With all of that said, tea tree still has a lot to offer.

No, it won’t cure your infestation. But it’s outstanding properties are great for supporting your skin. It’s called “first aid in a bottle” for a reason.

Below are some effective blends and applications that utilize essential oils.

Pillow / Mattress Wipe

Wipe your mattresses and Pillows with a mixture of:

Tea tree Essential oil

Lavender Essential oil

Let pillows and mattress dry in the sun or under presence of heat

Essential Oil Scabies Ointment

If you don’t want all ingredients, use what you prefer

  • Combine carrier oils in a glass measuring cup. Microwave until warm.
  • Add essential oils and whisk until blended.

Rub this ointment onto affected areas often. Ointment will be very concentrated, so be cautious.

5 Early Signs & First Symptoms of a Scabies Infestation

So you think you might have scabies, huh? For your sake, i hope you are wrong!

But, it’s good that you are here investigating.

Because if you do in fact have scabies it is important that you detect it and treat it as fast as possible. Yes, ASAP! The longer it goes untreated the worse you will feel and the more likely you’ll be to spread it to other people.

Below you will find first indicators that the scabies mites could be present.

Related: How to Get Rid of Scabies at Home Fast

Sign #1: An uncontrollable itchy feeling that’s spreading

You might think you had a good idea what feeling super itchy was like before ever picking up scabies.

But after awhile, there’s no way to lie to yourself any longer.

The itchy feeling we get as sufferers from these mites is horrendous.

A few telltale signs of an early stage scabies infestation:

  • You have a spot or two, maybe a broad area of your body, that will not stop feeling itchy no matter how hard or how often you scratch it. Yes, it doesn’t matter if you spent all night digging your fingernails into your skin. It just won’t. Go. Away.
  • While the itching doesn’t go away completely, if you feel way more itchy at night, then that’s a telltale sign. During the day you are active and distracted. Because of the activity, the mites don’t move as much. And even if they do, you won’t notice them as much. But at night time, that’s when they’re the most active. If it’s terribly itchy and keeping you up at night, it’s probably scabies.
  • It is spreading. For me, it started around my crotch and between my thighs. I thought it was just an allergic reaction or something. Maybe from the clothes i tried on at the mall. But then, it just kept spreading, in all of it’s terribleness, all over my body (accept my face and scalp.) By a few weeks into it, I was consumed in itchiness all over. Don’t wait that long before getting treated.

Sign #2: Rashes. Bumps. Zigzag marks. Oh No!

At first, you were just itchy. Incredibly, excruciatingly and uncomfortably itchy. But just itchy nonetheless.

Then, while you were indulgently digging into your thighs with your nails, you noticed something.

Red bumps? Red lines?

No, not just the redness from your far too intense scratching. A different kind. Like something you unearthed that was there all along beneath your skin.

My friend, this is their marks.

  • Those bumps. Those are their little homes, where they lay their little eggs.
  • Those lines. They are their burrows, where they dig and dig too move around and find greener pastures, ahem – tasty dead skin – to feed on.

If you’ve started to see red marks appear and you are still hesitant to diagnose them as scabies, take a look at where they’re located.

In the beginning those raised little bumps and ridges are likely to appear on parts of your body where the skin folds over itself or touches itself on creases.

Think between your legs, your toes and your fingers. Inside your elbows and wrists. Genital areas and under your breasts, if you’ve any.

Scabies prefer these areas to breed in and call home.

Sign #3: “Wait, am I not the only one around who’s scratching themselves?”

Since you’ve been paying so much attention to your itchy body, you maybe haven’t spent much time looking around at your friends and family.

Or if you have been looking at them, it’s in fear that they might see you acting odd with all your fidgety, itchy maladies.

But take a closer look.

If you do have scabies, they didn’t fall out of the sky.

Someone gave them to you. And chances are that it could be someone close to you. And they are probably showing first signs of an infestation as well.

So take a look around.

Look at your family, at your co-workers, your friends; anyone who comes in close contact with you from day to day.

Are they mindlessly digging into their skin? Are they complaining of a strange itch? Are they expressing lost sleep due to staying up all night scratching? Are they meticulously peering at their skin?

Are they showing early symptoms?

If you encounter others with these symptoms, well, take that as an early sign.

Better yet though, ask them. And tell them what you know about scabies and the early signs we’ve discussed already.

It’s easier to keep quiet and avoid potentially embarrassing subject matter, but if it’s really an infestation happening around you, everyone needs to know.

Everyone needs to get treated or they will likely just re-infest one another.

Sign #4: In the past few months have those in your family traveled or frequented new places?

This isn’t something that can give you insurmountable evidence of an infestation, but it’s a thought provoking question which could give you clues and a stronger conviction that it is in fact scabies that’s bothering you.

Think of all the places you’ve gone lately.

Out of country trips? Out of state trips? Out of home Trips?

All of them.

New gym membership? New daycare for the kids? New animal care clinic? New doctors office visits?

These are all heavily trafficked areas that are often hosts to scabies. For more ideas of places that you might have picked up mites from, check out this post on our How do you get Scabies page.

If there’s one or many potential places that pop into your mind, do some investigating and see if there’s been known issues with scabies there.

Sign #5: There’s confirmed cases of scabies in your community

So we’ve examined quite a few early signs of a scabies infestation.

If you’re still reading then you probably have a good hunch that this is what’s been ailing you.

At this point, if your still worried that it might be all in your head, it’s a good idea to visit or, better yet, make some phone calls to places in your community that you’ve visited in the last 2 or 3 months.

You’re gym maybe, or your child’s daycare.

Just call and ask if there’s been any reported cases of scabies recently.

If they say yes, well, that’s probably a clear sign that your itchy scratchy nights as of late are a sign that you’ve recently picked up our dreaded friends the scabies mite. You’re early symptoms will surely turn into a full blown unbearable infestation if you don’t act soon.

For more information on treating scabies, check out some of our other posts below.

And best of luck to you.

Further Reading: 100 Tips for Scabies Treatment

Further Reading: A Simple 3 Step Guide to Treating Scabies

Further Reading: How to Buy Over The Counter Permethrin Cream Online

Further Reading: A Guidebook to Handling the Itch

Some Quick Tips on How to Clean for Scabies

Cleaning your environment is an essential aspect of a complete scabies cure.

While getting rid of the mites in your skin is challenging enough, what can be even more of a problem is avoiding re infestation.

If you’ve read around a bit on the Topix Scabies forum or elsewhere online then you have undoubtedly read complaints from people along the lines of “Scabies can not be cured” or “Permethrin and Ivermectin won’t work, nothing works!”

But that is far from the truth.

People have been cured, some very quickly, with these medications for decades.

Why these poor people online can’t seem to shake their infestation comes down to two simple factors:

1) They aren’t using the medications correctly. (I’ve already covered that in this post.)

or

2) They aren’t doing a good enough job of keeping their environment clean.

An unclean environment = an constant risk for re-infestation. You don’t want to fall into the same miserable trap as th hopeless people I mentioned before. So let’s go over some tips that will help you to out in your quest for cleanliness.

Related: How to Get Rid of Scabies at Home Fast

#1) Practice Simplicity. Remove unnecessary stuff.

Anything you don’t think is necessary to keep in your life during this process – stow it away.

House hold items like excess furniture, clothes, bedding, towels, rugs, blankets, couches. Store them in a spare room if you can, or if you have no spare room just wrap fabrics up in plastic so they are as easy to disinfect. 

Remember, everything you come in to contact with it’s a good idea to disinfect. All it takes is a squirt bottle that you can carry around, this this permethrin spray.

The more clutter there is the more you have to clean and the more risk that mites will be hiding away. I mention more about this in the post 100 Practical Tips for Scabies.



#2) Deep clean everything

Surfaces – Use disinfectant sprays. Spray down anything you or other infested people come in contact with.

This Permethrin spray is very effective for this. So is Eco Living Scabies & Bed Bug Spray. Make sure to reapply after every use of an item.

Pets – We love our pets and we love to pet our pets. But for our sake all this petting is going to do the opposite of helping us contain the mites – your pet will spread them to whomever they come in contact with.

Though scabies are unlikely to actually live off of your pets bodies it is highly likely that they can carry the mites on their fur for a long time if left there. You don’t want that. 

As a solution you can either get your friends or relatives to pet sit, wear gloves when you pet your animals, or give your animals a good washing. Ideally wash with a strong solution, like this Sulfur concentrate pet dip for baths.

Carpets – With counter tops a quick swipe of a disinfectant will do the trick. Especially if you have thick carpets like shag. It’s a good idea to borrow or buy a steam cleaner.

The heated water and soap will kill off any mites that are currently calling your carpet home, not giving any mites a chance to burrow and wait.

How to Avoid Losing Sleep From Scabies

Sleepless nights can be one of the worst symptoms of Scabies

If having Scabies isn’t already stressful enough – then add on weeks of ruined sleep schedules.

With such a ridiculous amount of missed Zzz’s you’ll likely be in a huge pit of despair. I know the feeling very well.

Related: How to Get Rid of Scabies at Home Fast

How to prevent losing sleep from Scabies

While it isn’t possible to entirely get rid of the itch associated with the mites, there are some things you can do.

These solutions include being very proactive about reducing your bodies allergic reaction which causes the itch, as well as keeping your skin cool and healthy.

Learn about methods for counteracting the itch

In my post 10 Anti-Itch Remedies For Scabies I’ve laid out a thorough list of effective ways to soothe your skin and reduce internal reactions involving your bodies histamine response (which is what leads you to feel itchy).

If you follow all of those tips there is a good chance you’ll be able to diminish some of the intensity of your itch and sleep scratch free through the night.

But this isn’t always the case – a lot of people have very strong reactions to scabies mites, and need additionally help if they don’t want to go mad from sleep deprivation.



Invest in a healthy sleep aid

I stand by the benefits of melatonin and magnesium for sleep, and a great natural sleep aid by Prime Choices has a good dosage of both, as well as some other sleep promoters like valarian root, Vitamin B6 & Chamomile

Find Prime Choices Nutrition – Deeper Sleep on Amazon.

Conclusion

I hope this post helped you find ways to get a good sleep during your infestation. Though it isn’t the most important thing in dealing with scabies (having the right treatment regimen is) having good rest gives you some peace of mind that is so easily lost while you are fighting these horrendous mites.

 

How do you get Scabies?

No doubt from the minute you found out you had the mites you were wondering where they hell did these things from!!!! %$^&@#

No doubt you’ve racked your brain trying to figure out just who – or where – gave you the gift of these little demons.

Apart from allowing us to vent our frustration to the person or place who gave us this affliction, it’s actually a really good thing to know, so you can avoid getting reinfected once you’ve cured yourself.

So where Scabies are most often found?

Related: How to Get Rid of Scabies at Home Fast

13 places you’re most likely to pick up scabies

You have the highest likelihood of picking up the mites in highly populated places and places that aren’t cleaned frequently. Mites will sit for days waiting for a new carrier if the area they were left on stays hospitable for them.

Crowded spaces is pretty broad, so let’s look at specific establishments.

Location #1) The gym

I’m pretty sure this is where I picked them up.. damn local YMCA.

In the gym you encounter LOTS of shared surfaces: weights, machines, mats, showers, saunas. It’s huge risk area for mites.

Also many people use the provided towels, which are not always cleaned thoroughly under hot enough temperatures.

Tips:

  • Avoid going to the gym if you pick up or ever hear of anyone else picking up the mites. You don’t want to spread them and you don’t want them spread to you.
  • Bring your own towels. bring enough towels so that you can dry off and use them to sit on if you choose to use the sauna or sit down on a bench.

Location #2) School

Again, lots of people and lots of shared surfaces. Also, kids aren’t known for being overly clean. 

Tips: 

  • If you have children or are a student yourself be very aware of any health updates your school is putting out. When cases of scabies break out the administrations in most schools will take some preventative measures and warn their students.
  • Be pretty clean yourself. Carry around sanitizer and use your own towels if you are in the gym often. There’s not much else you can do other than this.



Location #3) Your work place

If you’re work environment has a lot of people then it is a likely target for the spread of mites. Be mindful of a potential spreading of the mites across your office and request that your coworkers get treated if the mites show up.

Location #4) communal housing

When people live together pretty much everything is shared virus wise. 

When you share the same couches, same bathrooms, same kitchen and same everything else pretty much all of your colds and anything else transmittable will spread.

Tips:

  • At the very first sign of infestation get everyone treated in your living space. If you hesitate to treat everyone then there is a high chance that your time with the mites will be prolonged. 

Location #5) Motels, hotels and hostels

I read a lot of stories from families who picked up scabies while traveling. It seems to be very common, especially in hostels. 

Tip: 

  • Read reviews of the places you stay at. Often times a yelp review can save you from staying in a place notorious for having scabies. If a facility isn’t kept clean then it is unlikely to be approved unless it changes management.

Location #6) Nurseries and daycare

Again, bugs get spread very easily among children. With all of the hands on play and sharing of clothes a whole group can become infected before symptoms are even seen.

Location #7) Traveling hubs

Travel hubs like airports and train stations bring a lot of people together. They all pile into small forms of transportation. This is another easy place to spread mites.

Bunk beds anyone?

Location #8) Picking up hitchhikers

I’m not profiling here. I actually really like hitchhiking. BUT, for those living an on the road lifestyle it is often hard to get treatment so they tend to have the bugs longer.

Moving around like this they also have a higher likelihood of picking up mites in the first place.

Location #9) Hospitals

For seeming such a sterile environment hospitals can actually be one of the easiest ways to contract scabies. With overworked staff often unable to handle upkeep for each patient to have a clean visit.

Also for such conventionally clean establishments, hospitals can host their fare share of bugs.

Location #10) Retirement home

People enter retirement homes right around the time they’re ability for self care declines. For this reasons mites can easily spread amongst the elderly in a communal living arrangement. Poor folks.

Location #11) thrift stores

Sifting through a thrift store clothing rack is quite obviously going to expose you to a lot of potential pathogens and bugs. 

I know I view thrift stores in a much different light after having scabies! Who knows what’s lurking on those racks.

Tip:

  • If you’re buying clothes from a thrift store consider bringing them home and washing them BEFORE you try them on. I know it’s an inconvenience, but so is scabies.

Location #12) Sports team locker rooms

You remember that time the whole high school wrestling team got jock itch? Well it could have just as easily been scabies. 

Location #13) Homeless Shelters

Homeless people are far less likely than others to find the resources to cure themselves of scabies. So sadly, it spreads amongst them quickly. Lots of volunteers at these shelters have picked up scabies on the job. Bad cases of crusted scabies can be found here.

Conclusion

If you have or have had scabies it is a really good idea to try to find out where they came from so you can stay away. Also do everything you can to inform others so they don’t have to go through what we did.

How about you? Do you know where you picked up scabies? Let us know in the comment section below.

100 Practical Tips for Scabies Treatment

100 practical tips for scabiesThere is a lot to know when it comes to treating scabies mites. 

Not only is there a lot to know, there is also a lot of questionable advice given online about treating the dreaded mites. Just browse the the Topix scabies forum for some examples of this.

There are a lot of people on those forums and online that bring misguided, highly emotional advice to the table.

While there is a good deal of helpful info available, there is also some BS you need to sift through. And if you are new to this whole thing its really hard to discern what is good or bad advice.

Related: How to Get Rid of Scabies at Home Fast

I know it took me forever to get a good grasp on understanding scabies, but by the end of it I could seeclearly what works and what doesn’t.

So without further adieu, here are 100 tips for dealing with scabies.

Tip #1) Be sure you actually have scabies.

Check out the Google Image search for Scabies. It’s not pretty, but really take a look and discern whether those physical signs match up with yours. There are other potential problems you are having such as eczema, ring worm, bird mites, Morgellons, impedigo, drug reactions, contact dermatitis… etc. 

Tip #2) It is easy to spread Scabies from person to person.

Some doctors will tell you that Scabies can only be contracted from close and continuous physical contact. This is definitely not true.

Every time an infested person touches something, anything, there is a chance they are leaving behind mites that someone else could pick up.

A glass, a remote, clothes, a computer, a cell phone, a water bottle, a door knob… the list goes on. You can get infested that easy. Just touch one of those things and you could be picking up scabies.

Tip #3) Most folk cures/remedies will not completely cure scabies.

Take a look below at this photo from the scabies photos page:

 

scabies burrow under skin picture

As you can see, Scabies like to travel underneath the skin, sometimes well below the surface layers. This is also where they lay their eggs. 

This means that folk remedies lack enough power to kill all the mites. Even if they are powerful enough to kill many mites it is highly unlikely that they will reach the very well protected eggs. Plus you’ll probably still have some live mites remaining that will have been damaged, but are still free to move to other areas of the body.

Some natural treatments that are not likely to cure you are:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Naturasil soaps
  • Neem oil
  • oregano oil
  • cayenne
  • bleach
  • Clove oil
  • Sulphur. While sulphur can kill off large swaths of your infestation I would NEVER rely exclusively on it for treatment. You really need to use ivermectin and permethrin.

Tip #4) You can have Scabies but not be very itchy.

This happened to me.

When I first got infested it was hell. I started getting really itchy between my thighs and eventually it spread to my entire body. You know the drill.

After awhile though (about 6 months worth of failed treatments) the visual signs of scabies, as well as the typical high rate of itchiness subsided I thought that maybe one of treatments finally worked (I was using more natural remedy approaches like sulpher and neem).

But alas, I was wrong. Over the next couple months I unknowingly continued to carry around mites which led to a couple of my good friends getting infected themselves. This was really devastating to me.

Some people are completely a-symptomatic. They carry the mites but never have symptoms. Very unfortunate. So always be on your toes.

Tip #5)  Being minimalistic while you have scabies helps a lot. The less things you have around you the easier it is to contain an infestation.

This is a very basic and straightforward tip that many people ignore.

The more things you touch, the more things you have to disinfect if you want to keep your environment Scabies free. 

While you are dealing with this thing try to keep all you’re possessions that aren’t completely necessary stored away. Bag them up or just put them in a place where you won’t have to worry about them.

This means less washing, less spraying/disinfecting and less to think about.

Tip #6) Ivermectin and Permethrin are the best treatments to use for scabies.

This is cut and dry. These medications do the job, everything else falls short.

If you don’t want to mess around with these mites then go straight to your doctor and get prescribed or go online and buy these treatments over the counter. I can tell you this after trying other methods of curing scabies and being disappointed each time. The closest I got to a natural cure was with sulphur, but it didn’t completely resolve the condition. You don’t want to go through what I went through. You can buy permethrin cream online here

Tip #7) Ivermectin and Permethrin are safer than some people would lead you to believe

When I first got into treating myself for scabies I fell into the logic that Ivermectin and Permethrin where unnecessary toxins and that there were natural ways to cure scabies that would work “over time”. 

Let me tell you, I would have saved a lot of grief if I had questioned this advice a bit more.

First of all, natural oils, homeopathy (i’m not knocking homeopathy in general, just for scabies), and immune system cures do not work. I can attest to this first hand. So that is kind of a deal breaker. Clove oil and Sulphur are something of an exception. They do a decent job of killing the mites, but again, you are unlikely to accomplish a complete cure solely with them.

As far as safety goes, after looking up a ton of peer reviewed articles by scientific investigators I am convinced that the toxicity of ivermectin and permethrin is very low for humans. Of course this is if you take only the recommended dosages. If you are doubtful I recommend doing some research for yourself. Also, I will eventually be compiling a post that breaks down many of the scientific articles I’ve read.

Tip #8) Use disinfectant sprays to keep all of your surfaces clean and mite free.

Like I said a in the first tip, scabies can spread easily and they can spread fast. You owe it to yourself, your family, your friends and the rest of the world to minimize the potential for spreading the mites.  

It can be easy to get the mites on surfaces for others to pick up.To stop the spread get a disinfectant spray and use it on all surfaces that you’ve touched. 

I recommend:

Permethrin Clothing Spray (spray it anywhere, not just on clothes.)

Natural Chemistry De Flea Spray

Spray Nine Multi-purpose disinfectant-cleaner

Tip #9) Avoid Scratching your itchy skin.

Scratching your skin will not give you much relief. In the moment it feels good, but it only makes the itch worse in the long run. It also increases the likelihood that you will spread mites across your body. I have more information on this topic in my posts 3 Reasons to Avoid Itching Yourself and How to Itch Your Skin But Not Spread Mites.

Tip #10) Cut your Nails Short, and keep them short.

This is the first thing to do when you know you have scabies. It is related to tip #8, because when you scratch there is a good chance you will spread mites to other parts of your body. When your nails are long they act as perfect transportation for the mites as they get stuck under your nails with your dead skin cells. I’ve written more about this on this post.

Tip #11) It is important to get treatment for your friends and family.

If you do everything right in your treatment and got rid of the mites, wouldn’t it just suck so badly to get them right back from another person you come in contact with? This happens a lot since the mites are so pervasive and easily spreadable. When treating yourself make sure that anyone who could have potentially caught your buggies has taken preventative measures.

Tip #12) Clean your animals.

In addition to your human friends, you could also pick up the friendly mites from your pets. It is a really good idea to treat your animals at the same time as your treatments. 

Tip #13) Deep clean your carpets.

Some surfaces can house mites easier than others. With a tile floor or counter, all that’s needed is a quick swipe with a disinfectant. It’s a different story with carpets and rugs, and heaven forbid if you have an old shag carpet.

A good idea is to rent or buy a steam cleaner. These will thoroughly disinfect your carpet and leave them clean as the first time you bought them. You’ll likely be able to rent a steam cleaner from a store near you, or you can buy one online. I was already thinking about a good carpet cleaner so I sprung for buying one. I definitely don’t regret it! This is the one I bought.

Tip #14) Utilize mattress covers

Speaking of surfaces that can become mite strongholds, let’s talk about mattresses.

While keeping your sheets clean is extremely important (wash them after each night in them), it is also good to be aware of the potential for mites being deposited inside your mattress itself. 

Bugs love mattresses because of all the tasty dead skin cells. A small population of scabies mites could easily live off of the dead skin deposited in your mattress for awhile.

Now before you toss your (potentially) infested mattress, consider getting a mattress cover. These plastic covers will keep the bugs out and are super easy to clean.

Tip #15) Be proactive about reducing itch.

The itch from scabies might be one of the most uncomfortable experiences you’ll have. It’s a really good idea to do what you can to lessen it and make it more manageable. It sucks to lose sleep over a terribly itchy night.

I have a post that discusses 10 ways to reduce the itching. Go check it out. 

Tip #16) Bag up most of your clothes to limit laundry usage.

One of the biggest time consumers for scabies is the amount of laundry we have to do. It sucks. Just bagging up the majority of our clothes to be reopened after we are cured makes life a lot easier during the time that we are curing ourselves.

Tip #17) Scabies can survive laundry cycles.

When you wash your clothes double check that your dryer is on the highest setting possible. You might even want to run your clothes twice in the dryer.

Tip #18) Take a mini vacation from home if your house is extremely infested.

If you’ve been having a ton of problems with getting re infested then I recommend taking your dose of Stromectol/Ivermectin/ and leaving your house behind for at least a week.

Tip #19) Drinking alcohol makes itching worse.

A lot of people online have said this and I can confirm it first hand. If you decide to drink take notice at the degree of your itching. If you itch more, then stop. If you can’t stop drinking, maybe that’s something you should look into.

Tip #20) If you don’t have a good washer/dryer be sure to at least use effective detergents.

Use 3 cups of ammonia in your laundry, 3/4 cup of borax, 1/2 cup of washing soda and regular detergent. That should ensure that you’re laundering will kill the mites.

Tip #21) Disposable gloves are extremely useful.

Buy a ton of them and use them often. Our hands are a very easy way to spread mites and a frequent change of disposable gloves can make a huge difference in our cure.

Tip #22) Saran wrap electronics.

You’re going to want to keep your surfaces clean, so you’ll need to be constantly disinfecting. This is challenging with electronics because you don’t want to ruin them. With saran wrap you can wrap your remotes, keyboards, computer mouse etc..

Tip #23) Use your freezer for small items.

Utilize your freezer to disinfect you’re shoes and small things overnight. I kept my rings and necklace in the freezer overnight.

Tip #24) Easy to clean indoor shoes

Flip flops or Crocs plastic or rubberized are easy to sanitize, spray with Lysol or soak in boiling water with bleach or borax, good to wear around the house. 

Tip #25) Easy access disinfectant wipes or sprays in each room.

I kept clorox wipes in most of my rooms for easy access. Also permethrin spray would be a good thing to have handy. Unless we have our cleaning items easily accessible it is just too easy to miss out on opportunities for the bugs to spread.

Tip #26) Take long sulphur soaks every few days.

In addition to your ivermectin and permethrin treatments it is probobaly a good idea to soak in a sulphur bath every few days. I did this near the end of my infestation

Tip #27) Don’t spend too much time reading forums on scabies.

Researching scabies is stressful. The whole situation sucks and if you dwell on it by doing too much reading on the topix forum you will stress yourself and itch more and more. Just make sure your treatment is done right, follow through on it every day, and let the rest run it’s course. Don’t overthink it.

Tip #28) Believe deeply that you will get better.

It’s so easily to think fatalistically when you have these mites. They limit your life, make you uncomfortable and cause you to fear spreading them. It’s miserable. Don’t add to your struggles by feeling stuck and that you’re far from being healed. See the light at the tunnel, because it’s there.

Tip #29) Eating sugar and wheat will make you more itchy

Scabies become far more active when sugar has been consumed in your diet. From what I understand it is because they feed off of it and become invigorated when it is in their system. Yeah gross. I’ve found that eating wheat, which in so many people causes the immune system to react, will make the itching way worse too. 

Tip #30) Never use towels twice and be sure no one else uses your towels

There’s no better way to spread scabies throughout a household than to share towels. So after you’re done using a towel make sure it gets isolated and not touched again until it is washed. If you share a house with uninfested people this is an extremely important step. You never know who likes to use your towels.

Tip #31) Be sure to do follow up treatments in your regimen

After your first dose of stromectol/ivermectin and/or permethrin you will indefinitely feel some relief from the condition. It might be tempting to avoid doing a second or third round of treatments but this is a huge mistake! The reason we do multiple treatments is to address unhatched eggs or mites that we missed on the first round. You will be mad at yourself if you stop treating yourself too soon!

Tip #32) If you are strapped for cash, avoid the temptation to try to cure with home remedies.

If you don’t have much money to spend on this condition then just go straight for the permethrin and ivermectin cure. If you buy permethrin over the counter (Amazon / Ebay) and get the ivermectin gel it will be inexpensive and you will be done with the condition very quickly.

Tip #33) Buy multiple pairs of cheap shoes and lots of socks.

Scabies frequently infest the feet and your socks and shoes can be carrying live mites at any given time. For this reasons you should never wear the same pair of socks twice, and also cycle different pairs of shoes. When you are not wearing a pair of shoes keep them in the freezer and/or spray them with disinfectant

Tip #34) If you have lots of carpeting roll up what you can

Scabies linger in carpet and can keep you infested. If you can roll up whatever carpet in your house and keep it rolled up until well after the infestation is over with.

Tip #35) Be mindful of over treating yourself

While it’s important to be vigilant and treat yourself extensively, it is also important to keep aware that you could be ruining your skin with too many treatments. Now I doubt you’ll actually “ruin” your skin. You might just damage it quite a bit, but still. If you are treating with permethrin just avoid other natural treatments to help ease your skin. Occasional sulphur baths are all that i’d recommend. 

Tip #36) On “Curing scabies from the inside out”

You might run into advice online saying that scabies is a result of an internal imbalance in your body and if you resolve you’re diseased state internally that scabies will go away. Use your common sense and avoid these types of advise. Scabies is going to infest even the healthiest of people, it doesn’t matter.

Tip #37) Be wary of bleach

Bleach baths are commonly recommended online and even by healthcare professionals. Bleach is not going to cure your scabies though, so i’d say staunchly avoid the stuff.

 Tip #38) Utilize forums on the web that talk about scabies.

The topix forum can be helpful on occasion. also Curezone and Patient.co.uk.

Tip #39) Become very familiar with what scabies burrows look like.

When it comes to diagnosing scabies and figuring out whether you have them or are suffering from post scabies it is very important that you can distinguish what the burrows from active mites look like.

Scabies buHere is a picture of how the mites burrows will appear on your skin ->

Tip #40) Never underestimate a “mild” case of scabies.

Scabies is scabies. Either you have it or you don’t, and no matter what if you have it you need to treat it seriously. It doesn’t matter if you are not being bothered by it like some of the people you read online about, you NEED to treat it or it will never leave your life, and you will spread it to other people as well.

Tip #41) Tread lightly when it comes to scabies and pregnancy.

I have not had to be involved with scabies during a pregnancy, so I can not give adequate advice on the topic. But I will say that you should be VERY careful when treating yourself if you are pregnant; especially if it is a new pregnancy. No one wants to harm their babies. Please do your research!

Tip #42) Never settle with leaving scabies untreated

This is just a big no no. Not necessarily because you are hurting yourself by doing this, but because you have the potential to pass this condition on to OTHER people. Which is a horrible thing to have to feel like you’ve done.

Tip #43) can scabies kill you?

Surprisingly this gets hundreds of google searches a month. No scabies can not kill you. 🙂

Tip #44) Are scabies really that contagious? 

The answer is a resounding yes. Scabies can be passed on to other people in extremely unsuspecting ways. All it takes is to be in the same environment with someone who has the mites, maybe not even there at the same time as them, and you are at risk from picking up scabies. You can get scabies even from just being downwind from someone who is scratching their itch!

Tip #45) Scabies in your scalp 

Many people have reported that scabies can survive and thrive in the human scalp. If you think your scabies condition has spread above your neckline it would be a VERY good idea to add shampoos to your treatment regimen. A good product to use for this is Sulfur8 Shampoo.

Tip 46#) Can you see scabies mites?

The answer is no. Scabies mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye. You need a microscope yourself or have a doctor analyze your skin for the mites.

Tip #47) There’s only 47 tips 😉

But you’re sure to get 53 more tips and then some from the comment section below. So there’s a bit of truth to it still.