These Scabies Home Remedies May Speed Up Treatment

Scabies natural treatments can also alleviate symptoms like itching

Scabies is treated with prescription anti-mite medication. Adding home remedies can help you get rid of scabies faster.

At-home treatments, like tea tree oil, oatmeal baths, and over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines, work alongside prescription treatments to relieve itching and keep the human itch mite from spreading to others.

This article discusses how to get rid of scabies in 24 hours. It covers how home remedies work in tandem with prescription medications to help you feel better soon. 

A person with scabies on their hands. Sick hands

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What’s Better, Home Remedies or Medication for Scabies?

Scabies is a red, itchy, and pimply rash caused by a microscopic human itch mite. Mite bite bumps are often in a row connected by a thin line, which is the burrow of the mite. Common on the wrists, fingers, armpits, waist, and genitals, scabies is intensely itchy. 

The only way to get rid of scabies in 24 hours is to use a prescription cream. Known as scabicides because they kill scabies, these creams contain:

  • Ivermectin
  • Permethrin 5% cream
  • Sulfur ointment

Scabies is highly contagious. If a person is diagnosed with scabies, their household and intimate partners should be treated as well. 

In addition to prescription creams, you can use home remedies to help control the symptoms of scabies and keep an outbreak from spreading. This is important for comfort since the itching from scabies can continue for two to four weeks, even after treatment has killed the mites.

Scabies Home Remedies

When you see a healthcare provider for scabies, talk to them about home remedies that might help you control symptoms and contain the outbreak. Home remedies for scabies include over-the-counter medications, essential oils, oatmeal baths, ice packs, and more.

Over-the-Counter Medications

In addition to prescription scabicides, you can use over-the-counter medications to help with symptoms like itchiness. These might include:

  • Antihistamines to help control itching
  • Pramoxine lotion to relieve itching
  • Steroid creams to relieve swelling and itching

Tea Tree Oil

Laboratory research shows that tea tree oil can, in theory, help treat scabies, but its effectiveness in people still needs further study.

To use tea tree oil to treat scabies, apply an ointment containing less than 5% tea tree oil to your skin. You can make this by mixing a few drops of tea tree oil into a lotion or coconut oil. Apply this daily while you’re experiencing symptoms. 

Oatmeal Bath

An oatmeal bath is a great way to soothe itchy skin by reducing inflammation. It may help control itchiness associated with scabies.

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that it will cure scabies, but it can help you feel more comfortable until your symptoms subside. 

Baking Soda Bath

As an alternative to an oatmeal bath, try a cool bath with 2 ounces of baking soda. This can help soothe skin and alleviate itching.

Cold Compress

Putting a cool compress on your skin can reduce itchiness. Try sitting in a cool bath, or putting a cool, damp washcloth on areas of your body that are particularly itchy.

Even when scabies treatment works the first time, you can still experience itching for two to four weeks after the mites have died.


You may have heard that you can control scabies by applying vinegar to your skin and rinsing it off a few minutes later. However, there's no proof it works, and it could be irritating to your skin.

Skipping Soap

Soap can further irritate your skin when you have scabies. Wash with water, and avoid soap or scented lotions while your skin is inflamed.

Other Ways to Reduce Spread 

In addition to treating yourself and your loved ones, it’s important to clean your home or living area to reduce the transmission of scabies.

  • Wash bedding and clothes you’ve worn within the past seven days on the day you begin treatment. Use the hottest setting on both the washer and dryer. 
  • Bag things that can’t be washed, like pillows, in a plastic bag for at least one week. This will kill the mites. 
  • Vacuum your whole house, including furniture, on the day that you begin treatment. 
  • Treat the whole family since scabies can be asymptomatic. It’s important to treat all household members as equal partners, even if they don’t have symptoms. 


Natural and home remedies can help relieve scabies symptoms, but prescription ointment is the only way to kill scabies and clear up the rash. Even with prescription treatment, scabies symptoms can last up to four weeks after the mites have been destroyed.

Natural scabies treatments like tea tree oil, baking soda or oatmeal baths, and applying an icepack can help to relieve the intense itching from scabies and reduce the risk of transmission. 

Scabies is highly contagious and can be asymptomatic. To prevent recurring infections, wash clothes and bedding in hot water, vacuum your furniture and floors, and treat everyone in the household. 

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scabies treatment.

  2. American Academy of Dermatology. Scabies: diagnosis and treatment.

  3. Thomas J, Carson CF, Peterson GM, et al. Therapeutic potential of tea tree oil for scabies. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2016;94(2):258. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0515

  4. American Academy of Dermatology. Home remedies: what can relieve itchy eczema?

  5. Seattle Children’s Hospital. Scabies-itch mite rash.

  6. Luu LA, Flowers RH, Kellams AL, et al. Apple cider vinegar soaks [0.5%] as a treatment for atopic dermatitis do not improve skin barrier integrityPediatr Dermatol. 2019;36(5):634-639

By Kelly Burch
Kelly Burch is has written about health topics for more than a decade. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and more.