Scabies is a skin infestation caused a tiny mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The six-legged mite is highly contagious and spreads from person to person through prolonged, direct contact skin contact with and infected individual. The female mite burrows under skin to lay eggs, causing tiny bumps to appear on the skin. The burrowing may cause severe itching, especially at night, according to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library Home Edition. Prescription scabicide medications and home remedies may help relieve the itching associated with the scabies infestation.
Visit a physician for proper diagnosis and medication. Treating a scabies infestation requires the use of scabicide medications. The mites will continue to cause itching without treatment. Common medications used include permethrin and lindane.
Apply the medicated cream to the entire body, below the neck, at bedtime. Leave the medication on overnight or at least eight to 14 hours, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Wash off the medication the next morning. Children using the product need also include the neck and head during the application.
Spread the medication for a second time after a week. The second application helps kill any remaining eggs that may hatch after the initial application.
Apply the nonchemical medication crotamiton to the skin two to five times a day for a baby with a scabies infestation, according to MayoClinic.com. The other prescription medications are not safe for infants.
Take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine to help relieve the itching. Even after treatment, the itching may persist for several weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Follow package instructions or the instructions from a physician for appropriate dosing information.
Apply corticosteroid cream to the areas of skin that itch. Some creams are available over-the-counter, or a physician may prescribe the medication. Drape damp washcloths over the affected area after applying the cream to help the skin absorb the cream, according to MayoClinic.com.
Wash bed linens, clothing and towels in hot water to kill the mites and prevent a re-infestation or spread to other people. Dry the items in a hot dryer. Dry clean articles that cannot go into the washer.
Call a physician if the condition persists even after treating the scabies infestation. A prescription pill called ivermectin may help eradicate the mites for individuals with a weakened immune system or for individuals who do not respond to the initial treatment.