Will rubbing alcohol kill scabies mites?

Scabies – a skin infestation caused by mites that burrow into the upper layer of one’s skin – can be quite disastrous to deal with. The itchiness and irritation can drive anyone nuts, not to mention it ruins your sleep cycle as you find yourself scratching furiously all night long.

Luckily for you itchy folks out there, rubbing alcohol may just come in handy! But first things first:

What is scabies?

Before we dive into how rubbing alcohol may help fight scabies, let us take a quick look at what this pesky infestation entails.

Scabies mites are tiny parasites (1/3mm- 1mm) that dig tunnels and lay their eggs under your skin. Yuck! As they move around and reproduce, they cause itching and rashes which lead to more intense itching eventually causing sores on our body. That’s no fun!

How do I know if I have scabies?

Great question! Here are some tell-tale signs:


  • Intense itching that worsens at night
  • Reddish rashes/bumps/scales/tunnels
  • Irritation or blisters on the skin
  • Sores caused by scratching

These symptoms usually manifest on specific areas such as wrists, finger webs, armpits etc. but any part of the body could potentially be affected.

If you suspect that you might have come into contact with someone carrying scabies or perhaps exhibit these symptoms then don’t wait too long before seeking professional medical help.

Can Rubbing Alcohol get rid of Scabies mites?

You wonder if an item found commonly in most households reportedly being able to dissolve fats and oils might also work against microscopic creatures? Seems plausible right? Let’s find out!

Alcohol Kills Germs..Right?: A closer Look

Rubbing alcohol contains either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol (or both). Ethyl Alcohol, in its pure form, can kill most of the bacteria which come into contact with it. When this solution is diluted down to 70%, it loses some potency of anti-bacterial effect but still proves effective against most viruses & fungi and dangerous gram-negative organisms.

But what does that have to do with scabies? Well for one thing, scabies mites aren’t exactly known as ‘germs,’ so a traditional antibacterial like rubbing alcohol may not be useful right off the bat.

How do I use Rubbing Alcohol?

Assuming you’ve sought professional medical help and have been told that you indeed have scabies or maybe just an inkling that they might be nearby diligently taking steaming-hot showers won’t suffice!

Here’s how:

Step by Step

  1. Dilute the rubbing alcohol with equal parts water so it doesn’t damage your skin more than necessary.
  2. Gently apply a small amount over your entire body (don’t forget hard-to-reach places!) using a cotton ball making sure you don’t miss any spots.
  3. As rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly dab on again every hour or two, repeating until all symptoms are gone or at least minimized

Avoid areas close to eyes/mouth/nose as this liquid could irritate these sensitive regions!

Any Side effects?

There are possible side effects of using rubbing alcohols such as drying out our skin causing irritation/slight pain and damaging healthy cells due to excessive application overtime.


It’s highly recommended not to make direct contact for usage purposes; gloves should always be worn while applying any alcoholic substance directly onto affected areas.

Other Suitable Alternatives

While rubbing alcohol is safe and effective for most people, there are some other options one can explore. Here are a few:

  • Antihistamines: These calms itchy response of body
  • Topical creams: Includes Permethrin or medicated lotions etc.
  • Oral pills: If symptoms show no sign of stopping by more than a couple weeks then certain doses prescribed by doctors could provide relief.

NB! Whatever treatment you opt for; always remember not to put others around you at risk. Scabies can spread rapidly if necessary care isn’t taken so practice good hygiene practices!


In conclusion folks Shaving your body might sound like quick solution (might get rid of some eggs after all) but​ ‘No, Rubbing-alcohol’ alone cannot magically make these microscopic creatures disappear within seconds leaving behind soothing off white dust clouds.An added bonus when one uses this substance on his skin is that scabies mites very well may be killed in the process due to their inability to survive extreme conditions but treatments which include oral pills/antibiotics /ointment require medical consultation because let’s face it playing doctor ourselves would land us up with inappropriate usage ending up making bad situation worse.. Ain’t nobody wants that!!

Moral of the story? When in doubt, read articles such as these 🙂