Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Scabies ?

by Pests

Rubbing alcohol is a common household item used for a variety of tasks, from cleaning surfaces to disinfecting minor cuts and scrapes. But does it have any use in treating scabies?

Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow deep into the skin. It’s highly contagious and can spread quickly, making proper treatment essential. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to help get rid of scabies and prevent further spread.

One of the more popular treatments is rubbing alcohol. In this article, we will discuss whether rubbing alcohol kills scabies and how to safely use it to treat the condition.Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the outer layer of the skin. It is an itchy rash that can be spread from person to person through direct contact, or through contact with infested bedding, clothing, and furniture.

The most common symptom of scabies is itching, which can range from mild to intense. Other signs of scabies include small red bumps on the skin, thin burrow lines in the skin, and blisters or pimples filled with a clear fluid. Itching commonly occurs at night and usually appears between the fingers, at the wrists, or in armpits and around the waistline.

Diagnosis of scabies is usually made based on its characteristic symptoms. Treatment typically involves the application of prescription-strength lotions or creams that kill mites. Proper treatment also includes thorough cleaning of clothing, bedding, and furniture to remove any remaining mites or eggs.

Signs and Symptoms of Scabies

Scabies is an infestation of the skin caused by the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabiei. It is characterized by intense itching and a rash, which can be spread from person to person by physical contact, or through contact with clothing, bedding, or furniture that has been used by an infected person. Common signs and symptoms of scabies include:

  • Intense itching, especially at night
  • A pimple-like rash composed of tiny red bumps or blisters
  • Thickened, grayish-white lines on the skin where the mites have burrowed
  • Sores caused by scratching
  • Small bumps with a red center that may leak fluid when scratched

The itching associated with scabies is usually worse at night and can be so intense that it interferes with sleep. In some cases, the rash may spread to other parts of the body such as the abdomen, chest, armpits, elbows or buttocks. In severe cases of scabies there may be crusty patches on the skin due to secondary bacterial infection.

Causes of Scabies

Scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by a mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. These microscopic mites burrow into the skin, where they lay eggs and cause intense itching and irritation. The most common form of scabies is known as ‘crusted scabies’, which is caused by an infestation of the skin by hundreds or thousands of mites. This type of scabies can lead to severe itching and redness, as well as thick crusts on the skin. Other forms of scabies include ‘classic’ scabies, which is caused by an infestation of only a few mites, and ‘Norwegian’ scabies, which is caused by an infestation of extremely large numbers of mites.

Scabies can be spread through direct contact with another person who has the condition. This includes physical contact with another person’s skin, as well as contact with their clothing or bedding. Scabies can also be transmitted through sharing items such as towels, sheets and clothing. In some cases, it can even be spread through contact with an infected pet.

It is important to note that while anyone can get scabies, people who are immunocompromised or have weakened immune systems are more likely to contract it. People in close living quarters (such as nursing homes) are also more prone to getting this condition because it spreads easily in confined spaces.

Diagnosis of Scabies

Scabies diagnosis is made through a combination of physical examination and review of the patient’s medical history. During the physical examination, a doctor or nurse practitioner will look for rashes, sores, or other signs of scabies. The patient may be asked about any itching, redness, or other skin irritation they have experienced. It is important to note that scabies can affect people of all ages and genders, although it is more common in children and adults age 30 and younger.

A doctor may also use a magnifying glass to examine the skin for mites or eggs on the surface. They may also scrape off a sample of skin to look for mites under a microscope. In some cases, laboratory tests may be used to confirm the presence of scabies mites. A doctor will also take into account any recent contact with someone who has scabies.

If scabies is suspected, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to start treatment and prevent its spread to others. Treatment typically involves the use of prescription topical medications that are applied directly to the affected areas on the skin. Other medications may also be prescribed if necessary.

Treatment of Scabies

Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Treatment of scabies involves the use of topical medications and home remedies to help reduce itching and prevent further infestation. Topical medications such as permethrin and lindane are often prescribed to kill the mites. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed for secondary infections, such as impetigo. Home remedies can include soaking in a warm, soapy bath, applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching, and avoiding tight clothing or bedding that may aggravate symptoms.

It is important to treat all members of a household at the same time if one person has scabies. This can help prevent reinfestation and spread of infection to other family members. All clothing, linens, towels, and bedding used by an infected person should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat settings to kill any remaining mites. Vacuuming carpets and furniture can also help remove mites from the environment.

In some cases, additional treatments may be recommended for severe cases or those that do not respond to initial treatment. These may include topical or oral antihistamines to reduce itching or phototherapy with ultraviolet light exposure to kill the mites and eggs. In rare cases, surgery may be needed for large skin lesions caused by scratching from intense itching.

Complications of Untreated Scabies

If left untreated, scabies can cause various complications. The most common complication is a secondary skin infection due to the intense itching and scratching associated with the condition. These infections can lead to painful abscesses, which may require treatment with antibiotics. In some cases, crusted scabies can develop, which is a more severe form of the condition that causes thick crusts of skin to form. Crusted scabies is more difficult to treat and requires stronger medications.

People with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk for developing complications from scabies. For example, people with HIV/AIDS may develop a more severe form of the condition known as Norwegian scabies, which causes extreme itching and an even greater number of mites than the typical form. People with weakened immune systems may also be more likely to develop secondary skin infections from untreated scabies.

Untreated scabies can cause psychological distress due to its contagious nature and unpleasant symptoms. People who have this condition may feel embarrassed or anxious about their appearance or how others perceive them due to their condition. They may also experience intense itching that affects their concentration or disrupts their sleep, resulting in fatigue and other psychological issues.

Rubbing Alcohol Kill Scabies?

Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, has long been used as a home remedy for scabies. It can be used in combination with other treatments or on its own. However, it is important to note that not all rubbing alcohols are created equal, and some may not be effective against scabies.

Rubbing alcohol works by killing the mites that cause scabies. It does this by breaking down the waxy coating on the mites’ skin and disrupting their metabolism. While this can help kill the mites, it may not always be enough to completely eradicate them from your body. In some cases, additional treatments may be needed to ensure that all of the mites are eliminated.

It is important to note that using rubbing alcohol on its own is not likely to be an effective treatment for scabies. While it can help kill some of the mites, it will not eliminate all of them and there may still be eggs or larvae left behind. Therefore, it is best to use rubbing alcohol in combination with other treatments such as topical ointments or creams.

In addition, it is important to use a good quality rubbing alcohol when treating scabies as some rubbing alcohols may not contain enough active ingredients to effectively kill the mites. Furthermore, some brands of rubbing alcohol may also contain fragrances or other additives that could irritate your skin and make your condition worse rather than better. Therefore, it is important to read the label carefully before using any type of rubbing alcohol on your skin.

Overall, while rubbing alcohol can help kill some of the mites that cause scabies, it should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or other treatments prescribed by a doctor. It is best used in combination with other treatments for maximum effectiveness and safety.

Risks Associated With Using Rubbing Alcohol to Treat Scabies

Using rubbing alcohol to treat scabies may seem like an easy and inexpensive solution, however, there are many risks associated with it. Firstly, rubbing alcohol may not kill all of the mites that cause scabies. It is only effective at killing mites on the surface of the skin and not those that burrow deeper beneath the skin. Therefore, using rubbing alcohol as a treatment may not be completely effective in eliminating a scabies infection.

In addition, applying rubbing alcohol to the skin can cause irritation and even burning sensations. This can be especially painful for those who already have irritated or broken skin due to scratching or other activities. Furthermore, using rubbing alcohol can also dry out the skin which can worsen irritation and lead to further discomfort.

Lastly, using rubbing alcohol as a treatment for scabies is generally not recommended by medical professionals as it may not be entirely effective in eliminating an infection. It is important to speak with your doctor before attempting any home remedies for scabies as they can provide guidance on what methods are safe and effective for treating this condition.


In conclusion, rubbing alcohol can be used to kill scabies mites, but it is not the most effective or recommended method for treating a scabies infestation. The most effective way to treat scabies is with an over-the-counter or prescription treatment. Rubbing alcohol can help prevent further infestations by killing mites on surfaces and objects, but it should not be used in place of medical treatment. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before using rubbing alcohol or any other home remedies for treating scabies.

It is also important to practice good hygiene and sanitation when dealing with scabies in order to prevent further infestations. This includes washing bedding and clothing in hot water and drying them on the highest heat setting possible. Vacuuming carpets, furniture, and other surfaces can also help reduce the spread of mites.

Overall, rubbing alcohol can be used for killing scabies mites but should not be relied upon as a primary treatment option. Healthcare professionals should always be consulted when dealing with a scabies infestation in order to determine the most appropriate course of action.

A to Z

A to Z


I am Tom Brett and my wish is to give you the best experience about the alcohol topics.

The article is written by me where I share my passion for this topic and I hope I have shed some light to you on this topic.

If you would like to learn more about me check the about page here.

A to Z Alcohol

Check all A to Z Alcohol Categories


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This