Soothing your itching skin
(and killing Scabies)

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 it is very soothing. It 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, get sulfur (or permethrin or benzyl benzoate). But if you can afford it, get both.

If you order them, sulfur can be on your doorstep tomorrow from Amazon, but the only reliable source I have found for Eurax is from Australia and takes 10 days to arrive.

I wound up using both. Please read the details below to see why.

Sulfur lotion

nustocktube1Sulfur 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.

Pre-mixed 10% sulfur butter cream
All natural ingredients

Nu-Stock sulfur lotion
See recipes, above

12 oz of sulfur lotion makes over 2 quarts of 10% sulfur lotion

Note: they call it an "ointment, but it is the consistency of baby lotion

Sulfur powder
Mix 1 ounce by weight (or 3 tablespoons or 9 teaspoons) of powder with 9 oz of skin lotion to make 10 oz of 10% lotion.

5 pounds (80 oz) makes over 5 gallons of 10% sulfur lotion
Free shipping

2 ounces of sulfur powder makes 20 oz of 10% lotion

All of these powders are very finely ground. They not grainy. Braunfels describes theirs as nearly a "dust"

Sulfur powder
Mix 1 ounce by weight (or 3 tablespoons) of powder
with 9 oz of skin lotion to make 10 oz of 10% lotion.

1 pound

3 pounds

5 pounds

A fine powder. Each pound of powder makes over a gallon of 10% sulfur lotion. Additional $3 to $6 shipping.
Considered safe for feeding animals.

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.

Eurax lotion

euraxlotioncreamandbox2My favorite itch relief is Eurax lotion. I used it in addition to 5% permethrin cream and oral ivermectin.

Why? Because it stops itching, softened my skin and it kills scabies!

It isn't as powerful a killer as permethrin, benzyl benzoate or sulfur, but it helps in so many ways and it has no side effects!

How to use Eurax (crotamiton)

You apply it once a day for 2 days in a row to kill scabies. Then you leave it on for two more days. Then you take a shower to wash it off. So that means no showering for 4 days total.

If you have to take a shower, dry off and apply the lotion all over again.

I applied it each day for 4 days in a row (4 times total) and it was great. No side effects at all. Plus you can dab it on anytime and anyplace you feel an itch. It stops itching for around 8 hours.

It's so mild, this is a medication the Healthy Skin Program suggests for babies! "Infants less than 2 months of age are treated with sulphur 5% cream daily for 2 to 3 days or crotamiton 10% cream (Eurax) daily for 3 to 5 days. Wash off and reapply the cream each day"

Where to buy Eurax

Eurax comes as a lotion or cream. I preferred the lotion because it goes on easily and simply soaks in. NO greasy layer to bother me later.

Amazon used to carry Eurax lotion and cream which shipped in from England. Now I see it has disappeared from Amazon. Amazon is picky about anyone selling prescription stuff.

Sometimes Eurax lotion and Eurax cream available from England at eBay. These sources pop up and then get banned, so you jusy have to click the link below to do a search. One day you can find it and maybe the next day nothing is there.

Click here to search for Eurax lotion and cream on eBay and just choose the cheapest one. It's hard to keep up with listings as they can change any time. 100 grams was enough to cover my 250 body completely once with a bit left over.

Be sure to compare not only the price of the item, but also how much shipping they tack on. It varies from free to $30!

The other places I found it that ship to the USA are in Australia. I actually ordered some Benzemul (benzyl benzoate) from Australia, so I believe what they sell is genuine. I can't testify to the reliability of the eBay listings, but I did order Eurax from England through Amazon…this may be where they moved after Amazon bounced them out. I didn't order from India or China — I just don't see those countries having any real controls. But some folks say they have ordered from Turkey or India or Mexico and got effective stuff so it's just a bit of a gamble.

Also I have found a couple pharmacies in Australia which I have ordered from in the past so I trust them. Chemist's Warehouse and ePharmacy sell little 20 gram tubes of the cream for $6 which means it's around $30 for 100 grams (more than twice what it was on Amazon). And the shipping to the USA is around $30! So if you have that kind of spare money, it is great stuff. It would take about 3 tubes to cover my 250 pound body, so you do the math for whatever size you are.

The best alternative to Eurax is the 10% sulfur lotion which is really inexpensive (look to the left on this page).

Shipping from Australia took about 10 days. The eBay listings for Eurax claim 9 days to 3 weeks.

And, of course, if you are in England or Australia or probably any other reasonable country you can probably buy Eurax at your local drug store for around $6.

It is a great extra helper. I preferred the lotion at night because it is easier to spread, softened my skin and one 100ml bottle covered my body twice. But the cream is handy for applying to an itchy spot during the day. I got to the point where I would try anything, so I ordered both the lotion and the cream.

Plus you can apply it anytime! Got an itch? Rub some Eurax on it and it's better quickly. I put this on all over before bed and once under the blankets, my skin got this mild warmth with no itching! I could sleep! What a relief. Lack of sleep from itching actually made me a bit insane. Eurax gave me my sanity back.

aloecoolbluegel1Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel helps to lessen itching. It does not kill scabies mites. Fruit of the Earth makes a great aloe gel ($6-10). Their Cool Blue Gel with 1% Lidocaine provides temporary relief from itching (also available locally at Walgreen's and elsewhere). It numbs your skin and is normally used for the pain and itch of sunburns.

Make sure to get the pump bottle as this stuff is very thick! Plus it left a shiny, hard, flexible coating on my skin that made it harder to scratch…sort of a reminder to let my skin recover.

It washes off easily with water.

I used this sometimes to sooth the burning and itching that can accompany using permethrin lotion. The lidocaine numbing only helps for a little while, but you can always put more on.

Dry skin treatment

Sulfur can dry your skin out and that can result in mildly itchy skin (like a very mild sunburn feeling). Body oil can help with that.

Neutrogena has a good body oil , but I used the generic Target body oil (a copy of the Neutrogena body oil). The oil in both is diluted sesame seed oil, which is lighter and thinner than other oils, so it didn't bother me. To apply it, I'd fold a paper towel, pour a little oil on it and then rub that all over. That left a very thin layer of oil which I liked.