We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Treat Scabies on the Scalp?

By D. Benjamin
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Treating scabies on the scalp cannot be done without medical attention. There are no over-the-counter medications or natural remedies that have been proved to be effective. A doctor usually will prescribe a lotion containing permethrin, lindane or sulfur to treat scabies. The lotion is applied to the entire body, left on overnight and then washed off.

Scabies is a mite infection of the skin. After a person has been infected, the mites burrow into the skin, lay eggs and produce irritating substances. This skin condition causes severe itching that worsens at night, and red bumps or small blisters might appear. The skin might also appear scaly or crusty in severe scabies infections. All types of scabies, including scabies on the scalp, is very contagious and can be easily transmitted between people.

Most mite infections begin in the body's folds. Scabies does not usually affect the scalp or face. Infants, elderly people and people with immune system deficiencies are most likely to experience scabies on the scalp.

Permethrin lotion is the most widely used for treating scabies on the scalp. It has a low toxicity rating and is safe to use on infants who are 2 months old or older. Crotamiton and sulfur are also approved for children this young. Lindane cannot be used on young children, pregnant women or people who have a weakened immune system.

Regardless of which lotion is used, the patient should thoroughly wash his or her body and hair before applying the medication. Normally, the lotion is applied to the entire body from the neck down. If the scalp is infected, it is necessary to apply the lotion there. The lotion should cover the entire body but should not enter the eyes or any body cavity. The lotion must be left on overnight, or eight full hours, and a second treatment might be required seven to ten days later.

Scalp itching might continue even after the mites have been killed. The irritating substance produced by the mites can continue to cause an allergic reaction. A doctor might prescribe an antihistamine cream or steroid pill to reduce discomfort. This will soothe the itching, but it will not cure scabies. If large bumps remain for a long time, a doctor might inject them with steroids or apply coal tar.

To ensure that scabies on the scalp has been successfully treated, clothes worn most be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer two days before the scabies treatment begins. The same should be done with used bedding and towels. This will kill any mites or eggs that are on the items. Furniture, walls and floors do not require extra cleaning.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon1005226 — On Jul 15, 2021

Clove oil is great.Apply liberally and repeat as needed. No problem. And vacuum, vacuum. And wash, wash. And iron, iron.

By ZipLine — On Aug 29, 2013

I've discovered that the best way to avoid getting re-infected with scabies from clothes and bed sheets is to iron them. I washed all my clothes and bed sheets several times a week in very hot water for almost a month. In addition to this, I ironed my bed sheets and the clothes I would be wearing for the day every single morning to kill any mites and eggs. It worked!

By ysmina — On Aug 28, 2013

@burcinc-- I have no idea if tea tree oil works or not, but I highly recommend seeing a doctor for a treatment. Some natural remedies work and some don't. But with scabies, time is valuable. The longer you wait, the more the scabies will spread. So get treatment as soon as possible.

I had scabies on my scalp a few years ago. I didn't even know it was scabies when I saw my doctor. I went in thinking that the itchy skin bumps were a form of dermatitis. My doctor prescribed a lotion with sulfur. It took 4-5 days to work but it was worth it. It cleared up my scabies and sulfur is not dangerous at all like some of the other scabies treatments.

By burcinc — On Aug 28, 2013

I've heard that tea tree oil can treat scabies. Does anyone have experience with it? Does it work? And is it safe to apply to the scalp? I'm assuming it has to be diluted with another oil correct?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.