Permethrin Alternatives — How Effective are Alternative Scabies Treatments?

One of the other frequently prescribed treatments for scabies, aside from permethrin, is Ivermectin. Overall, ivermectin has been very effective for treating scabies. It is most commonly prescribed in oral form, though there is a topical form of ivermectin available as well. Ivermectin is utilized most frequently in the third world, because it is a quite a bit cheaper than permethrin. Patients treated with ivermectin may also be treated with some kind of topical treatment, such as (you guessed it) permethrin, to help them cope with the itchiness.

Then, aside from ivermectin and permethrin — the two first-line scabies treatments — there are also some natural scabies treatments available, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. There treatments include:

1. Tea Tree Oil

There have been a number of recent studies conducted in Australia that indicate tee tree oil is an effective natural form of scabies treatment. Of all the suggested natural treatments available in the marketplace, tee tree oil is the one that seems to have the greatest potential. Still, no large or conclusive studies have taken place that have tested the efficacy of tea tree oil in a clinical setting.

2. Neem Oil

Neem oil is perhaps the second most promising (future) scabies treatment. It is already being used by quite a few naturalists and herbalists.

3. Other Suggested Treatment Options

There are a few other suggested natural treatments, like onion skins and garlic, but the effectiveness of these treatments is far from established at this point.

One thing should be noted though, before proceeding, which is that as of this moment none of the aforementioned natural scabies treatments are recommended with any frequency by medical professionals. However, as more tests are conducted, their popularity could very well skyrocket (Other Treatments for Scabies).

4. Lindane

Lindane is a scabies treatment that isn’t prescribed nearly as often as it once was, though it is still used to treat people in developing countries. Its high toxicity levels and potentially dangerous side effects led doctors to consider other treatment options, and eventually led them to find the current first-line treatment, permethrin.

5. Benzyl benzonate

Benzyl Benzoate is also used to treat scabies, though once again, it is more frequently prescribed in the developing world. Still, benzyl benzonate has proven to be effective. Moreover, it’s cheap. The main reason it isn’t prescribed as often in the developed world is due to the fact that multiple applications are required. Consequently, in many cases, patient compliance rates are lowered.


The prognosis is good for most patients who are diagnosed with scabies. In most cases the disease will go away after a few weeks. These alternative treatments may work well for some people, but they also might not work at all. Check out the main page on scabies treatment for more information.

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