Soothing your itching skin
(and killing Scabies)
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. Buy Nu-Stock Ointment in 12-Ounce tubes for around $15 at Amazon (or in a six pack for $11 a tube). They call it an "ointment" but it feels just like skin lotion (it is not greasy). It mixes really well with baby lotion ($4 for 27 oz at Wal-Mart!) to make whatever percent ointment you want.
If you are hyper-sensitive to sulfur smells, move along. For those who want to try a a more "natural" sulfur treatment, this is what 87% 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.
If you prefer a pre-mixed sulfur lotion/ointment, look at the bottom of this page for a couple suggestions.
Here is the MSDS (ingredients and safety sheet) for Nu-Stock (click to download and read).
Recipes for sulfur lotion:
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 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.
To make 14% ointment
1 oz Nu-Stock + 4 oz lotion = 5 oz of 14% sulfur lotion
(note: 1 oz = 2 tablespoons, 4 oz = 1/2 cup)
To make 20% ointment
1 oz Nu-Stock + 3 oz lotion = 4 oz of 20% sulfur lotion
(note: 1 oz = 2 tablespoons, 3 oz = 3/8 cup or 6 tablespoons)
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 Nu-Stock 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!
How much lotion will you need?
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.
Pre-mixed 10% sulfur lotion
If you want to buy pre-mixed sulfur lotion/ointment, here are a few products to choose from (below). Mixing Nu-Stock sulfur lotion or sulfur powder with baby lotion is a lot cheaper, but obviously pre-mixed lotion is a lot tidier!
Pre-mixed 10% sulfur butter cream
All natural ingredients
Click here to order 8 ounces of 10% cream
Click here to order 12 ounces of 10% cream
Click here to order 32 ounces of 10% cream
NOTE: If you can't see the product photos (below) please turn off any add blocker you might have.
I was thinking about making my own line of 10% sulfur products until I saw Braunfels stuff. Braunfels makes their products the way I would, using the kind of high-quality ingredients I would choose…so now I don't have to!
Braunfels Labs makes specialty sulfur products…and they go all the way ensuring their products are natural and organic. The ingredients are more expensive than the synthetic stuff in most skin lotions and so it is pricier, but not rediculous. You'll need about 8 or 9 ounces to do 3 applications over 3 days.
They use a blend of "premium" "American" sulfur with an organic cocktail of pure oils - Avocado Oil, Hemp Oil, Jojoba Oil with Shea Butter. They do not use any polyethylene glycol - PEG - zero! No petrolatum products,period. Also, no fragrance, no dyes, no artificial colorings, no perfume.
They get great reviews on Amazon. Here's an example: ""Braunfels Labs Sulfer 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).
Of course, lots of people are mighty picky about skin lotion. What one person loves another one hates, so if you mix up Nu-Stock lotion or Braunfels or Greenway Biotech powder with your own favorite skin lotion you can virtually guarantee you'll like the feel of it.