General Question

MooCows's avatar

Anyone know how to get rid of skin mites for good?

Asked by MooCows (3195points) October 2nd, 2016

I am pretty sure I have skin mites as my head itches
and I have some places where I have been bit and
at night I really itch. I have washed sheet in hottest
water and sprayed my bed with disinfectant but my
scalp and other places on my body itch but I don’t
“see” anything there. Help!

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18 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well…is it lice? If so, you need to buy special shampoo and follow the directions. Wash not only the sheets but all the clothes you’ve worn since it started.
I just loved battling lice.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Get rid of your current mattresses and cover the new ones with an impermeable new cover. Launder everything you own that will touch your new bed, and literally have your head examined.

Lightlyseared's avatar

If it is actually mites (scabies) then you’re going to need treatment from your doctor.

YARNLADY's avatar

The only way to get rid of them is to ask your medical provider for advice.

Stinley's avatar

I also agree that you should visit your doctor. If it is scabies, you are extremely likely to pass them on to others in your household. So they need to get treated too. But first you need to get diagnosed properly.

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snowberry's avatar

Head lice normally hang out on the scalp because they need the protection of the hair. They shouldn’t make you itch all over unless that’s a psychological side effect of simply having head lice. Body lice live in clothing and attach to the body to feed.

Skin mites sound like scabies or body lice to me. Scabies are much harder to treat, and in the US at least, require a prescription lotion to be applied daily, along with doing a lot of laundry. i’ve never had to deal with scabies.

Body lice can be dealt with by improving personal hygiene and doing a lot of laundry. Here’s a link for body lice.

It would be really nice to have a diagnosis so you know what you’re dealing with. If you can’t afford to go to a regular doctor perhaps your health department would be able to check for you.

My main focus in getting rid of head lice- or any pest really- is breaking the lifecycle. Once I know what I’m dealing with, then I study up and learn where they live, how they reproduce, how they spread, what is their lifespan from egg to adult, and so on.

My sister-in-law used to live in England and she said that the only way she kept her children free of head lice was to use Teatree oil in their shampoo or conditioner (or you could put it in anything else that will dilute it and put it where you want it). Many times we have successfully treated for head lice and even killed fleas on our dog using Teatree oil in shampoo or conditioner.

I’ve never had scabies, but I know that the treatment for scabies is using a prescription lotion every day, all over. Even though it is not approved by the US government for scabies, I suspect Teatree oil would work for that as well. PM me for more ideas.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I like your answer @snowberry, except I’d like to point out that even people with impeccable personal hygiene can catch head lice from others. Lice don’t just pick on dirty people. They’re equal opportunity pests. I’ve had to deal with it on at least 4 occasions when my kids were little. Disinfecting everyone in the house, all bedding, all recently worn clothing. Royal pain!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Head lice and bedbugs are one thing, scabies is quite another.

As to scabies, they are a huge pain in the ass.
My experience has been while crewing on a scabies infested yacht. Everything on board that is laundrable must be laundered, including the clothing on the crew. It is often more practical and effective to toss some things like mattresses and furniture cushions and buy new ones. All crew members must use the prescription lotion on the same day. This lotion is used after showering and only once by prescription because if used too often it can cause neurological damage. Because of this, most doctors won’t write this prescription more than once in 90 days. While everyone is off the boat showering and everything else is off being laundered, the boat must be sprayed with a toxic chemical and kept off limits for a day. All of this must be done on the same day to prevent one crew or one piece of material from re-infesting the environment.

I can think of nothing worse than to be stuck out at sea on a scabies-infested vessel. Within a short time, everyone has open sores where they have scratched themselves raw. This exposes them to further infections such as impetigo, etc. Scabies will drive people out of their minds.

snowberry's avatar

Yep. I agree @Dutchess_III Improving personal hygiene only works when you’re dealing with BODY lice not head lice ( according to the CDC website I put up). In that case the only thing you can do is just clean the place to death, and of course wash yourself. But I haven’t had nearly that big of a problem dealing with headlice because with them all you have to do is break the lifecycle which takes about 10 days to two weeks I can’t remember exactly. They are so tiny you cannot see what you’re trying to clean so I have had a very effective solution-simply washing our families hair in Teatree oil laced shampoo once a week, and let it sit on it for about 10 minutes while it does it’s work, then wash it out. That’s what my sister-in-law recommended and I found it to be true.

It needs to be stronger than Teatree oil shampoo like you buy in the grocery. So that I didn’t have to devote an entire bottle of shampoo to this treatment, I got a small travel bottle filled with shampoo and put in maybe a half teaspoon of Teatree oil. And shook it up hard.

She said it seemed that in her part of England all the children had head lice, and that as long as she washed her kids’ hair with Teatree oil shampoo every week, they didn’t get reinfected with them.

Pandora's avatar

I know for my dog and my daughters dog, i got rid of mites by wiping them down with vinegar and then letting them air dry. Did this once a day and they stopped itching pretty immediately. If it is scabies, you may need something stronger. Make sure it’s not something else first. Many things can give you an itching crawling sensation.
When I itch from bites I use really hot water on the itching spot. If you have eczema, then I wouldn’t advise using the vinegar or the hot water. That will only make it worse.

MooCows's avatar

I don’t think this is lice…I think I got whatever it is(mites)
from dealing with our chickens…250 of them. I ran a hot bath
and after the water stopped i poured ultra Dawn dish detergent
in the water so it wouldn’t foam and soaked in it…hair and all.
I aired dry. I am not itching as much. Tonight I did the same bath
but used vinegar and air dried. When I go to town I will get the
teatree oil shampoo and use it all over. Any certain brand?
I have stripped the bed and washed and dried with hottest water
available. I swear I saw a clear looking minute bug on the hair
of my arm one night. I have a few little spots where something has
bitten me and it on my arms. Don’t think this is lice or fleas.
Any other creatures you can think of?

snowberry's avatar

Ah ha. Chickens! Now I understand. Your best long term bet is to cure the chickens of external parasites. If you’re that uncomfortable, you can bet your biddies are too, and egg production is probably down, and they are going to be susceptible to a lot of other diseases. Here’s a good, non toxic way to control external parasites in fowl.

As for tea tree oil, go to a health food store (if one is nearby), and don’t get the cheapest oil, which is usually Now brand. You can pay a lot of cash for essential oils (such as Young Living brand), but in this case, anything in the middle price range should work. The last time I priced tea tree in a health food store, a ½ oz bottle ran around $10— $12 US. If you’re too far from a health food store, PM me, and I’ll help you buy it from a reputable source online.

This is a really strong oil. Test a little on your skin before you use it. A little goes a long way This article below says to use tea tree AND lavender, and that it’s effective with only 2% tea tree (much less than I recommended ) I’ve never used the lavender, but do what you think best.

Here’s an excerpt from this site: 1Purchase pure tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has natural antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.[10] Although the exact mechanisms are not yet understood, tea tree oil has been shown to be effective in killing lice nits and reducing the number of live lice. It may also have lice-repelling properties.[11]
A combination of tea tree oil and lavender oil has been shown to kill lice eggs and live lice.[12] Look for pure lavender oil.
While many shampoos and conditioners have tea tree oil in them, they are unlikely to have a high enough concentration to be effective. A minimum concentration of 2% tea tree oil is required to kill lice nits.[13]
Look for “steam-distilled” tea tree oil from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree.

Another option is to use raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (if you can, pay the extra and get organic- it’s worth it). This article says ACV works on external parasites, but you put it in their water. http://healing It will help you too. I have sprayed regular grocery variety apple cider vinegar on horses to keep off flies.

I’m not sure if it would work, but you could try rubbing ACV all over your skin (like I did for my horses) to see if it discourages your little lodgers. Or try rubbing ashes all over. If it works for the chickens, it should work for you too!

PM me if I can be of encouragement to you, and let us know how it’s going please.

kritiper's avatar

You can buy a compound for mange at your local pet store. But first, wash yourself thoroughly with flea and tick shampoo, then drench yourself with the mange dip solution. Do not rinse. Let dry.

snowberry's avatar

Oops, that link for ACV didn’t work. Here ya go.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar


@snowberry is right about treating the chickens, or you will go to a lot of work only to have your house re-infested.

Far be it from me to give advice to a rancher with 120 chickens (I care for only 14), but just in case, I’ll pass on some advice from Coloma about ridding her biddies of mites:

“Use Hexol. You mix a couple of tablespoons into a bucket of warm water and dip your chickens in and hold them in the solution up to their necks for a minute or two to soak to their skin, then just let them go to air dry. haha”

If you follow the Hexol link above, you will see that you can buy this general purpose household cleaner by the gallon at Walgreens or Walmart in the States.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I love a good mystery!

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