Scabies, which means “to scratch”,  is a parasitic infestation of the skin.  It is wide spread throughout the world, being more problematic in areas of poor sanitation.  The infestation can spread from person to person via prolonged, direct skin contact, including sexual contact. The female mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin to lay eggs which then hatch and multiply.  This creates pimple-like eruptions on the skin with intense itching, especially at night.

The scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, is very small and is easily spread from person to person.  Initial infections generally require four to six weeks to become symptomatic.  Outbreaks of scabies are common in places such as nursing homes and child care facilities where people are living in close proximity. 

The female mites burrow into the skin to lay their eggs.  This burrow resembles a thin pencil line on the skin.  The eggs incubate under the skin, hatch and repeat the cycle.  The intense itching is the result of an allergic response to the mite.  Rashes, especially between the fingers, and sores from severe scratching and digging are possible visible signs of a scabies infestation.

Mites may be more widespread on a baby’s skin.  This can appear as pimples covering the trunk of their body.  Small blisters may appear over the palms and soles as well.  In older children, the head, neck shoulders, palms and soles can become involved.  Adults are mostly affected on the hands, wrists, genitals and abdomen.  Skin above the neck is rarely involved in older children and adults.

An examination of skin scrapings is done with a microscope to diagnose scabies.  An actual skin biopsy is sometimes performed as well.  The presence of the linear “pencil” lines and “mosquito-like” entrance wounds are very common visual characteristics used to diagnose scabies.  Since the infestation may only be from 10 - 15 mites, it may be very difficult to actually find the location of the infestation.

Some general guidelines to consider when treating for a scabies infestation:

 An alkalized body is more resistant to infestation (by anything, not just scabies). Be sure to improve the diet to limit acidic foods and increase alkalizing foods. This will also increase the overall function of the immune system which can help in your fight against the scabies mite. There is often an accompanying yeast infection that is coupled with the scabies. Maintaining a high pH will prevent a yeast infection from running rampant throughout the body.

 Cleanliness is extremely important during a scabies infestation. Be sure to wash your hands frequently, especially after scratching. Be sure to include scrubbing under the fingernails where mites may be present from scratching.

 Washing bedding and clothing in hot water can help keep infestations under control. Mites are killed in temperatures over 120 degrees.

 Keeping the infested areas covered can help prevent scratching. It can certainly help with the risk of spreading scabies to other hosts.

 Since scabies is spread through exposure with other people, families should consider treating every family member at the same time as the affected individual. This will reduce the risk of re-infestation.

 There is often an accompanying yeast infection that is coupled with the scabies.

 Scabies cannot be spread from animals to humans. It is also very unlikely that scabies can spread in swimming pools or from incidental contact with bedding or clothing from an affected person. The treatment for scabies is two-fold. The first is to kill the mites and the eggs that may be incubating under the skin. The second is to heal the damage done to the skin and reduce the intense itching.

 Tea tree essential oil has been used extensively to help kill the scabies mite. Try putting some in the tub, twice daily, to soak the whole body. You may want to soak the hands more frequently. Tea tree oil is also anti-bacterial which can help the body heal if there is a secondary bacterial infection caused by the constant scratching.

 The oil blends of LeMelaPlus andLe Purify have tea tree oil as one of their ingredients. By using an oil blend, you would get the benefit not only of the tea tree oil, but from the other essential oils included in that blend.

 Soaking in Epsom salts or Redmond clay has shown to reduce the itching associated with scabies and can help the body remove toxins that may be building in the blood. 

 A tea consisting of peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint and thyme has shown to be effective for killing mites when 2 quarts of this tea is added to bath water. This remedy not only kills the mites but helps sooth the itching and reduces the desire to scratch. When using essential oils remember that they are more concentrated than the herb form and add less accordingly.

 Turmeric, when applied to the affected areas, has shown promise as being helpful at reducing inflammation and reducing the scratching.

 The essential oil blends of LeSego Lily, LeBabyMe, LeVallee, and LeReconciliation are recommended for skin irritation and regeneration. They can be applied to help heal and soothe the skin.

 Single oils which have a great affinity for the skin include chaulmoogra, helichrysum, lavender, myrrh, and patchouli.

 The skin in an organ of elimination. When trying to heal the skin from any abuse, it is necessary to keep the other organs of elimination functioning as smoothly as possible so that the skin does not need to pick up any of their slack.