Tea tree oil has potent therapeutic components that are beneficial for many bacterial, viral, and inflammatory skin disorders. It is a popular natural remedy for scabies.

Scabies is a contagious skin infestation. It is also known as ‘seven-year itch‘ because of the constant itch, skin rash, and blisters it causes. [1]

Each year, about 300 million cases of scabies are reported worldwide.

The reason behind this skin condition is the human itch mite called Sarcoptes scabiei [2].

This is a very small eight-legged mite that’s impossible to see with the naked eye [2].

When this mite lands on the skin, it burrows into the topmost layer and lays eggs.

The rashes develop as a result of an allergic reaction to the mite.

If you leave scabies untreated, it’ll turn worse.  There are various over the counter anti-scabies lotions and creams. 

These drugs use harsh chemicals such as permethrin. There are serious risks of side effects. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not use these chemical induced drugs.   [4]

Natural remedies like tea tree oil may help to resolve scabies and its symptoms such as itch, rashes, etc.

In this article, we will discuss evidence-based pharmacological effects of tea tree oil for scabies infestation. You’ll also get to know the causes, symptoms, risk factors, and prevention methods for scabies.

tea tree oil for scabies

Properties of Tea Tree Oil

One of the most popular essential oils used in many parts of the world is tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil originated in Australia [5].

It has already been a hundred years since this oil was first used as a natural medicine [5].

It originates from the tea tree plant using the process of steam distillation [5].

Traditional healers have long used it as an antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory agent [6].

It has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties. Thus, people rely on it for wound disinfection and treatment of viral, bacterial and fungal infections [5].

Tea tree oil consists of several active compounds, including terpene hydrocarbons [6].

The primary active component in this oil is terpinen-4-ol. Scientists have done a lot of research on it. [6]

This component is responsible for the wide array of health benefits of tea tree oil [7].

At present, tea tree oil remains a highly valued tool in skincare and healthcare in many parts of the world [6].

The oil may treat acne, gingivitis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and many others [7].

With all these excellent skin and health benefits, it makes sense to have a bottle of tea tree oil at home.

RELATED: 11 Incredible Uses of Tea Tree Oil for Hair (With Directions)

Why Use Tea Tree Oil for Relieving Scabies?

Tea tree oil has a four-fold mechanism through which it helps combat this skin condition. Let’s get to know why tea tree oil is good for scabies treatment.

1. Tea Tree Oil Controls Mites Infestation

Tea tree oil has shown potential acaricidal properties against scabies infestation [8].

It may be a useful topical treatment even for crusted scabies [8].

In a 2004 study, tea tree oil’s acaricidal activities were probed by researchers [9].

Researchers collected scabies mites from a 20-year-old patient suffering from crusted scabies [9].

Results show that 5% tea tree oil reduced the survival time of the scabies mites [9].

2. It Reduces Inflammation

This essential oil is famous for its anti-inflammatory effects. It may help tone down the skin inflammation caused by scabies.

This action can be attributed to tea tree oil’s active compound terpinen-4-ol [10].

Tea tree oil is capable of inhibiting skin inflammation triggered by allergic reaction [11].

3. Tea Tree Oil Alleviates Itchiness

Scabies can be very itchy, especially at night.

Topical application of tea tree oil may help soothe itchiness and ease discomfort.

It also has antipruritic properties that can come in handy in minimizing skin itchiness [12].

4. It Prevents Secondary Bacterial Infection

When you can’t stop scratching, the rashes may turn into open wounds and blisters.

It’s possible for these lesions to be infected with bacteria.

Tea tree oil destroys mites, as well as prevents secondary bacterial infections [8].

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Scabies in Humans

Here are the various recipes that you can use for treating scabies naturally with tea tree oil.

All these recipes are in combination with other natural ingredients. They are quite useful for toning down inflammatory conditions.

1. Tea Tree Oil with Olive Oil 

Combine tea tree oil with olive oil and other essential oils for a more powerful treatment.

How to use tea tree oil and olive oil for scabies:

  1. Combine 20 drops of tea tree oil, 10 drops of each of lavender oil and sweet orange oil, and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a bowl.
  2. Transfer oil blend to a glass jar with a lid.
  3. Shake well to blend.
  4. Apply oil mixture on your skin.
  5. Leave it on for one hour before wiping it off with a clean towel.
  6. Repeat this remedy once a day for two weeks.

2. Tea Tree Oil for Cool Compress

A cold compress helps tone down inflammation and at the same time, provide relief from pain.

An easy way of using tea tree oil cool compress for scabies:

  1. Soak a towel in cold water.
  2. Wring to get rid of excess water.
  3. Put this on top of the infected skin.
  4. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Combine1 tsp of olive oil and 4 drops of tea tree oil.
  6. Apply on the skin using a cotton pad.
  7. Do this procedure daily for up to two weeks.

3. Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, & Coconut Oil

Recipe for Lavender, coconut oil and tea tree oil for scabies:

  1. In a bowl, pour 10 drops of tea tree oil, 5 drops of lavender oil 1 tablespoon of and coconut oil.
  2. Be sure to blend well.
  3. Using a clean cloth, apply the mixture on the infected parts of the body.
  4. Cover using the same cloth.
  5. Wait for one to two hours before removing the cloth.
  6. Rinse with cool water.
  7. Do this process daily for three to four weeks.

RELATED: 15 Home Remedies for Ear Mites in Dogs That Works

4. Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera Gel

A great way to disinfect lesions is with aloe vera. It may help prevent secondary infections.

Here’s how you may use tea tree oil and aloe vera gel for scabies:

  1. Mix 15 drops of tea tree oil and 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel in a bowl.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the mixture on your skin.
  4. Wait for at least an hour before rinsing it off with cool water.
  5. Re-apply once more and rinse again.
  6. Repeat these steps daily for up to three weeks, or until lesions heal.

RELATED: 5 Effective Ways to Use Aloe Vera for Acne Treatment

5. Tea Tree Oil and Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea may also tone down inflammation and soothe the condition.

Learn how you may use tea tree oil and chamomile tea for scabies:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Add 1 tsp of chamomile leaves.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the stove.
  5. Let it steep for 20 minutes.
  6. Strain the mixture.
  7. Add 5 drops of tea tree oil, and mix well. Make sure that the tea is cool enough before you apply it on your skin.
  8. Apply it on your skin using a cotton pad.
  9. Do this every day for up to one month.

6. Tea Tree Oil and Witch Hazel 

Witch hazel is a powerful astringent product that comes from the leaves of witch hazel shrub. Witch hazel is an important ingredient in so many skin care products. The compound has significant effects in purifying your skin from dirt and pathogens. 

You can combine tea tree oil with witch hazel extracts for a potent home remedy for scabies. The combo may kill the parasitic mites and heal skin inflammations.

How to use tea tree oil and witch hazel for scabies:

  1. Add 5-6 drops of tea tree oil to 100 ml. witch hazel extracts and make a smooth solution.
  2. Soak a cotton ball on the infusion and apply it to scabies affected skin area.
  3. Massage the inflamed skin for some minutes.
  4. Leave it for 10 minutes then rinse it off using cool water.
  5. Repeat the treatment a couple of times daily.

RELATED: 11 Health Benefits of Witch Hazel That You Should Know About

7. Tea Tree Oil with Clove Oil

Clove oil has marvelous benefits in treating skin disorders. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties to kill the mites. The oil may also relieve the pains, rashes of the infestation.

A recent study has proved the superiority of clove oil over certain OTC drugs.

Clove oil has a potent component named eugenol. During the experiment, it showed a high level of scabicidal effects.   The scabies mites could not survive more than one hour after the exposure to clove oil. [13]

You can prepare a powerful anti-scabies tonic at home by mixing clove and tea tree oil.

Learn how to use tea tree oil and clove oil for scabies:

  • Add 10 drops of each of clove and tea tree oil to the carrier oil
  • Mix them well into a blend
  • You can add a tablespoon of honey in it for thickness
  • Now apply the solution on scabies infested skin like a layer
  • Leave it on the skin for an hour before wiping it off with a towel
  • Repeat the process twice a day to get rid of scabies naturally

tea tree oil for scabies

8. Tea Tree Oil with Neem Oil or Paste

Neem leaves or Azadirachta indica comes from the Indian lilac trees. The medicinal leaves have excellent benefits for skin disorders.

It is one of the most important ingredients in Ayurvedic medicinal practice. Neem leaves contain strong anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and anti-fungal properties. Hence you can mix neem leaves paste with a few drops of tea tree oil for an effective scabies remedy. The combination will kill the mites; inhibit its growth and spread and stop the related itch.

How to use tea tree and neem oil for scabies:

  1. Add 3 drops of tea tree oil and neem oil each and prepare a solution
  2. Apply the oil solution of the affected area and leave for 20-30 minutes
  3. Rinse off using warm water.
  4. Alternatively, blend 10 neem leaves to form a fine paste.
  5. Add 4 drops of tea tree oil to the paste and mix well.
  6. Apply the potent paste on the scabies infected skin like a layer.
  7. Leave it on the skin for 30 minutes.
  8. Wash off using cool water.
  9. Repeat the treatment twice daily for a week to get rid of scabies naturally.

9. Tea Tree Oil with Rosemary Oil

Rosemary essential oil comes from the rosemary flowering plant. This plant has a plethora of uses for promoting health and in Mediterranean cuisine.

The oil is rich in anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antidepressant, sedative, analgesic, and expectorant properties.

Thus, a combination of tea tree oil and rosemary oil may relieve the inflammation of scabies. It may also prevent the risks of secondary infections. [14]

Here’s how you may use tea tree oil and rosemary oil for scabies:

  • Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil, 5 drops of each of clove and rosemary oil with 1/2 cup of either coconut or olive oil.
  • Massage the oil blend on scabies affected skin for some time
  • The skin will soak in all the oil after some time
  • You can wipe off the skin with a warm cloth after an hour
  • Repeat the method twice a day to get rid of scabies mites

10. Tea Tree Oil and Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt is pink colored magnesium sulfate. This aesthetic looking mineral is full of therapeutic values. Especially it is the best ingredient you can use for a refreshing bath. Epsom salt has the healing properties to detoxify your body inside out. [15]

Mixing tea tree oil and Epsom salt with your bath water, you can indulge in a skin restorative dip.

Learn how to prepare tea tree oil and Epsom salt bath for scabies:

  • Add 2 cups of Epsom salt and 20 drops of tea tree oil with the water in your bathtub
  • Now, immerse yourself in the rejuvenating solution for 30 minutes
  • Pat dry your skin once you come out of the water
  • Repeat this shower treatment for a week to notice the good results

Tips and Precautions for Controlling Scabies

1. Wash Your Bedding and Clothing

You have to maintain extra hygiene with your clothes, bed sheet, pillowcase, etc. 

Wash your laundries regularly with hot water and detergent to kill the mites. This way you can keep your scabies from spreading.

2. Vacuum Carpet and Furniture

It is highly recommended that you vacuum your furniture and carpet on a daily basis. It is possible that the mites spread on these objects and later contact other persons from there. After using the vacuum cleaner, dispose of or burn the vacuum bag that may contain mites.

3. Limit Your Area

You have to limit your space and contact with persons when you are suffering from scabies. Otherwise, you may contaminate others with the infestation. Take leave from work or school for a week and treat yourself to scabies before you go back to normal routines.

4. Avoid Scratching Itchy Skin

Scratching the non-stop scabies itch seems unavoidable. But you have to keep your nails on guard and avoid messing with your inflamed skin. Scratching the infected skin may lead to secondary infections too.

5. Try to Minimize Stress

A stressful life and negative thoughts can magnify scabies itch and make it severe. You should indulge in activities such as yoga, jogging, meditation, etc. 

Suffering from scabies is a painful journey, but you have to deal with it for a while. Stay positive about life at all times.

6. Eat a Healthy Diet

You must follow specific diet course when dealing with scabies. Your immune system needs to fight the infestation internally.

In that case, you have to add anti-inflammatory food items to your diets. Some anti-histamine foods can prevent allergic symptoms, itchiness, swellings, etc. 

Some of the anti-inflammatory foods are walnuts, green vegetables, beetroots, salmon, broth, etc.

Symptoms and Risk Factors for Scabies

Scabies is a highly contagious disease that is transmitted from one person to another through skin contact.

It’s also possible to get these mites from objects, furniture, bedding, and clothing.

After you’re infected with scabies, it may take up to six weeks before the rashes appear.

These rashes become more itchy and swollen at night.

Itching can be so intense that it can be very difficult to get good quality sleep [3].

In infants and children, the rashes usually appear on the head, face, neck, hands, and feet.

For adults, these can appear in the armpits, genitals, between the fingers, and the buttocks, etc.

In some people, scabies doesn’t appear as red, inflamed rashes. They manifest as thick and grayish crusts that crumble when touched.

If not treated, it can lead to a severe form of infection called crusted scabies or Norwegian scabies.

There are about a hundred to a thousand mites on the skin of people who have crusted scabies [3].

People Who have weak immune systems are at high risk of scabies. For example, those who are undergoing chemotherapy [3].

Is It Necessary to Visit a Doctor?

Scabies is contagious and can be severe if left untreated. And it’s always advisable to see a doctor when you’re suffering from any contagious diseases. 

Natural remedies like tea tree oil can soothe the discomfort. But if the infection becomes severe, you may have trouble sleeping because of the itching. In that case, you must seek medical attention.

Bottom Line

If left untreated, scabies can progress into something severe that will be difficult to treat.

Today tea tree oil has become a powerful and low-cost home remedy for scabies. The Royal Darwin Hospital in Australia has recommended this essential oil as a superior natural drug to all other conventional anti-scabies medications. [16]

You can try any of the tea tree oil remedies discussed above to get rid of scabies mites. Also, follow a healthy lifestyle as preventive measures to inhibit the growth of scabies.

READ NEXT: Tea Tree Oil for Skin Tags: 8 Natural Remedies to Try Now!

Pin It