5 ways to cure scabies
with the Healthy Skin Program
Scabies itches like mad. There are two skin lotions/creams that kill scabies mites AND ease itching. They are sulfur lotion and Eurax lotion. Sulfur is cheaper and more powerful than Eurax, but sulfur can dry your skin a little. Eurax does kill scabies mites, but it is not as powerful as sulfur. But Eurax is very soothing. It both softened my skin and eased the itch. I admit I love Eurax lotion — anytime I had an itch I could apply it and relax again. If you have to choose due to money, get sulfur (or permethrin or benzyl benzoate). But if you can afford it, get Eurax, too. More about Eurax on this page.
Sulfur lotion (or ointment) has been used for thousands of years to treat scabies. It relieves itching while it kills scabies.
I made mine by mixing concentrated Nu-Stock sulfur ointment with baby lotion. NuStock Ointment in 12-ounce tubes goes for around $15-17 online. They call it an "ointment" but it feels just like skin lotion (it is not greasy). It mixes really well with baby lotion ($3 for 27 oz at Wal-Mart!) to make whatever percent ointment you want.
If you are hyper-sensitive to sulfur smells, move along. Personally I like a mild smell of sulfur, like from fireworks. So for those who want a more "natural" sulfur treatment, this is what 84%% of Amazon reviewers say worked to rapidly cure their pets' parasite problems. If you read the reviews, you'll see I'm not the only one to use it to treat scabies on humans.
Nu-Stock is 73% sulfur, 25% mineral oil, 2% pine oil, so don't use it straight out of the tube. 10% is strong enough to cure scabies, and I found it very gentle and soothing.
A similar product is called Allhide contains 74% sulfur, plant-based glycerol and pine oil. Use the recipe below to mix it down to 10% sulfur.
If you prefer a pre-mixed sulfur lotion/ointment, look at the bottom of this page for a few great product suggestions.
Nu-Stock is mixes easily with lotion.
Mixed with lotion, one tube can make over 2 quarts of 10% lotion
Sulfur, Diazolidinyl Urea, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lactic Acid, Cymbopogon citratus (Lemongrass) Oil, Pogostemon spp. (Patchouli) Oil, Juniperus Virginiana L. (Cedarwood) Oil
To make 5% lotion (for babies under 2 months old)
1 tablespoon Nu-Stock + 6 oz lotion = 6.5 oz of 5% sulfur lotion (note: 6 oz = 3/4 cup)
To make 8% lotion
1 oz Nu-Stock + 8 oz lotion = 9 oz of 8% sulfur lotion
To make 10% ointment (this is the normal concentration)
1 oz Nu-Stock + 6 oz lotion = 7 oz of 10% sulfur lotion
(note: 1 oz = 2 tablespoons, 6 oz = 3/4 cup)
One tube of Nu-Stock mixed with baby lotion makes over 2 quarts of 10% lotion! Of course you can mix up smaller amounts.
The latest research (here and here) on using sulfur lotion to treat scabies has used either 8% or 10% sulfur ointment successfully. Do not use the Nu-Stock straight out of the tube because 73% sulfur is too strong for humans (it's fine for cows and horses)! Dilute it using the recipes (above). 8% and 10% is the strength used in studies.
The sulfur ointment needs to be applied for three days in a row, either once a day for twelve hours each time (like overnight while you sleep) OR by applying it once a day and leaving it on for 24 hours. In both studies the subjects showered once a day.
Leaving it on 12 hours (each day for three days) resulted on a 90% cure rate. Leaving it on 24 hours (each day for 3 days) resulted in a 96% cure rate. In case you're wondering, that small difference means doing it for just 12 hours a day is fine. Those who applied it for the full 24 hours reported a bit more skin irritation and you do need to be good to yourself.
You may have to wait 4 days and then repeat this just to be to be sure to kill any eggs that hatch after the first treatment. You can always use sulfur lotion one week, and then 5% permethrin lotion the next week.
I have used sulfur lotion and aside from smelling a bit (I actually liked the mild sulfur aroma), it was actually soothing. It warmed my skin in bed at night and somehow that stopped the itching so I could sleep.
I also took ivermectin at the same time, so it's hard to say which did what, but the 10% sulfur lotion (plus 5% permethrin once a week) is what finally finished off my stubborn scabies.
A tube of NuStock contains 12 ounces — enough to make two and a half quarts (84 ounces) of 10% sulfur lotion (after you add the skin lotion). That's a LOT of lotion!
If you are just using it now and then, here and there, for itch relief, you can try a small amount. It takes about 3 ounces to cover your whole body (depending on how big you are).
If are using it as your primary scabies treatment, you apply it 3 nights in a row, that's about 8 or 9 ounces per week. For most folks you do this 2 weeks in a row, so that's 18 ounces. For a stubborn case you may apply it weekly for 5 weeks, that comes to 45 ounces or 1.4 quarts. Obviously for treating a family making your own becomes an attractive option.
You can buy pre-mixed sulfur lotion/ointment. Mixing Nu-Stock sulfur lotion or sulfur powder with baby lotion is a lot cheaper, but obviously pre-mixed lotion is a lot tidier!
Amazon pre-mixed 10% sulfur butter products are all way too expensive.
Several products (Braunfels Labs Sulfur Butter, Scabisil and others) seem to have disappeared. So the links below may lead to “unavailable” pages. Please use the email link at the bottom of this page to let me know if you find any large tubs of 10% sulfur cream or butter).
Scabisil is 10% sulfur containing “Plant based ingredients in a 10% colloidal sulfur blend”. It is 10% sulfur. As of Sept 2020 it was $60 for 32 oz.
Sulfur Butter is 10% sulfur containing “Glycerin, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Sulfur, Avocado Oil, Hemp Oil, and Jojoba Oil.” It is 10% sulfur. As of Sept 2020 it was $59 for 32 oz.
Allhide is similar to Nu-Stock as it is concentrated: 74% sulfur. As of Sept 2020 it was $43 for 32 oz. But it is 74% sulfur, so you need to dilute it with skin lotion (click for recipe). It contains a “Proprietary blend of all natural and plant based ingredients. Zero petroleum base - absolutely no mineral oil.”
I’m sorry all these products have either disappeared or gone out of business. Fortunately the concentrated NuStock ointment and sulfur powder are available so you can easily make your own.Sulfur Butter Cream 'n Ointment is my new favorite beauty product, especially in the dry winter weather. It is not greasy at all, absorbs quickly and my skin LOVES it." 5 stars
This "butter cream 'n' ointment" is made with shea butter mixed in other natural oils to make it creamier. Shea butter is a natural, organic oil that is relatively solid at room temperature, but it softens on your warm skin. You can always pre-soften it with a few seconds in the microwave (lid off) or by putting it in warm water for a few minutes (lid on).
10% Sulfur powder recipe
Mix 1 ounce by weight (or 3 tablespoons) of powder with 9 oz of skin lotion to make a total of 10 oz of 10% sulfur lotion.
NOTE: you can measure the lotion by weight or volume. Plus you can use whatever lotion or cream you like.
Just to make your life easier:
You can mix 1 oz by weight (or 3 tablespoons) of the sulfur powder with 1 cup (8 oz) of lotion and make an 11% sulfur lotion.
It’s easier to measure that way and you probably can’t tell the difference between 10% and 11% lotion. They’ll both work.
Put the lotion in a ziplock bag. Add the sulfur powder. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Now just mush the lotion and powder around with your hands and you’re done!
If you wish to donate to support my website, click here to donate via PayPal.
Full disclosure: I have personally bought and used almost everything I mention on my web site. I search for good deals on good products for myself and tell you where to find them. If you buy from Amazon I do get a small commission, but you get the same price you would anyway. Most of the other stores I mention pay me nothing, but if they are convenient or have a good deal, I tell you.
Thanks for your support. I'm not getting rich doing this. When folks use the product links I can see they care. It is a fair amount of work keeping the site up. And of course you can email me anytime.