What to Know About Neem Oil for Scabies Treatment?

Medically Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on July 23, 2023
3 min read

Neem oil is quite effective in treating scabies. According to scientific studies, the active compounds in neem oil reduce skin redness and inflammation of the skin caused by scabies. It also helps to decrease irritation and relaxes the skin. Neem oil has beneficial chemicals that inhibit mite development and proliferation.

Scabies is a parasitic condition caused by mites (tiny bugs) called Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites interfere with the skin structure by forming burrows and laying eggs. That causes an allergic reaction in the skin leading to symptoms such as itching. Symptoms are usually more pronounced during the night because the parasites get more active during this time.

Other symptoms include:

  • Skin rashes and bumps. These mainly occur between fingers, on the wrist, waist, and genitals.
  • Redness. This is brought about by the repeated scratching of the affected area of the skin.

Commonly affected areas include:

  • Between the fingers (hands)
  • Wrist
  • Armpit
  • Elbow
  • Shoulder blades
  • Nipples
  • Waist
  • Penis
  • Buttocks

Infants and very young children are mostly affected on the skin around their heads, faces, necks, palms, and soles of feet. These parts are rarely affected in adults and older children.

You may observe tiny burrows on the skin. These burrows are created by the female scabies mites digging beneath the skin's surface. The holes look elevated, crooked, and grayish-white skin-colored lines on the skin.

What are the risk factors of scabies? Scabies is a widespread condition. It affects people of all ethnicities and age groups. Scabies may easily spread in crowded places where close body-to-body contact is common. Scabies outbreaks are common in places like nursing homes, extended-care institutions, jails, and child care centers.

What is Margosa oil or neem oil? Neem oil is vegetable oil from the fruits and seeds of the neem tree. It's yellow-brown, has a garlic sulfur odor, and a bitter flavored taste. Apart from mites, neem oil effectively controls whiteflies, aphids, Japanese beetles, moth larvae, scale, and spider mites.

Origin. Neem oil comes from the seeds and is recognized for its insecticidal and therapeutic properties. It is found in small amounts in the fruit, flower, and leaves as well.

Does Neem oil treat scabies? The effectiveness and safety of herbal coded medicine, including neem oil, for the treatment of scabies, were investigated in a research study. Neem was found to be a safe, effective, and cost-efficient therapy for scabies.

Neem oil is made from neem seeds that contain a high amount of the anti-parasite chemical azadirachtin. Azadirachtin disrupts the parasite hormone cycle, stops mites from growing, and makes their eggs infertile. It also acts as an antifeedant (preventing them from eating or allowing them to eat but in limited amounts).

Scabies remedies containing neem oil should be used daily. Neem is an active parasite repellant. That makes it a good solution for the treatment of scabies diseases.

Application is made during the night after taking a hot bath. This treatment is repeated for a total of two to three days.

Limitation for use. In some isolated cases, neem oil may cause some adverse effects. Because of the presence of azadirachtin, neem may be irritating to the eyes, skin, and stomach. Try to avoid getting it into your eyes.

Other treatments for scabies. Other treatment options are available. Scabicides are products used to treat scabies because they kill mites and their eggs. Scabicides are only accessible with a doctor's prescription. No "over-the-counter" (non-prescription) medications have been approved for use. Always carefully follow the directions provided in the box or printed on the label.