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Neem Oil for Scabies

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Applying neem oil, especially for scabies is an age-old treatment, effective to soothe itching and also, to kill scabies mite. It can be added to bathing water, applied directly, or used as a paste after mixing with turmeric powder.
Scabies is an itchy skin condition, caused due to infection by the ectoparasite, Sarcoptes scabiei. Invisible to our naked eye, this tiny mite can be detected with a magnifying glass. The signs of scabies are superficial burrows in the skin and intense itching at the infested sites. In some people, the symptoms are so severe that they cannot sleep at night. In fact, those who have been through this skin disorder, only know the extent of itching caused by scabies mite.
Though the major reason for causing scabies is poor hygiene, everybody can get infected with scabies mite. And the worst part is that, this ectoparasite can spread to other body parts and also, from one infected person to another through direct skin contact.
Therapeutic treatment for scabies includes, applying topical ointments and advocating oral medicines. Nevertheless, there are also certain home remedies, effective to treat the itching symptoms and kill the causal organism. One such alternative is using neem oil, which has been practiced as a conventional treatment for many years.

Neem Oil: A Scabies Treatment

Neem oil, extracted from the seeds of Azadirachta indica plant, is bitter to taste, strongly fragrant, and light to dark brown in color. It holds a very important place in herbal medicine, especially because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties.
This curative action of the oil is due to the presence of high percentage of triterpenoids, triglycerides, and other steroid compounds. When applied over the scabies infected areas, it penetrates the skin and kills the mites. Besides, the oil relieves itching, gives a soothing effect to the skin, reduces pain, and prevents secondary infections.

How to Use Neem Oil

Most of the therapeutic medications prescribed for treating scabies are very strong, which at times, result in temporary to long-term side effects. Also, with repeated usage for many years, the scabies mites are already resistant to some medicines. In such cases, taking those medicines is of no use. Neem oil, on the other hand, is still effective to treat scabies without any adverse effects.
Neem Oil in Bathing: In a bathtub filled with water, add some amount of neem leaf tincture (if available) and 2 tablespoons of pure neem oil. Soak yourself in the bathtub for at least 15 minutes. Doing so will give you relief from pain and itching. After the bath, apply a good quality neem-based lotion to promote faster relief.
Direct Application: Another effective method is direct application of concentrated neem oil. This will reduce inflammation, and provide an instant relief from the discomfort caused by mites. For more effectiveness, it is advisable to take saltwater bath before using the oil topically.
Neem Oil and Turmeric: Using neem oil and turmeric paste for treating scabies has shown prompt results in more than 90% patients, within 3-15 days. You can take turmeric first, and add the oil drop by drop, while stirring continuously until a thick paste is formed. Apply this paste over the scabies infected sites several times a day, and the symptoms will be cured within a few days.
Neem Oil Products: In case, you cannot get the oil right away, consider using neem oil soap. Over-the-counter capsules are also available in drug stores, which help in combating scabies. However, it is important to know that neem capsules are temporary treatment alternatives, and should not be administered frequently.
This way, you can rely on neem oil for treating scabies, rather than going for therapeutic intervention. Use the above-mentioned remedies, and spare yourself from the harmful effects of chemical formulations, while ensuring a healthy skin.

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However, if symptoms of scabies do not subside after several days of using the oil, seek advice from a qualified dermatologist, and get the necessary treatment.