In an open, non-comparative study carried out between August and December 2002 at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 5 patients with scabies were successfully treated with crude gel of Aloe vera; thereafter the efficacy of the extract was compared with that of benzoate lotion among 30 patients. Sixteen patients were treated with Aloe vera and 14 patients had benzyl benzoate lotion. Itching was still present in 3 patients in the benzyl benzoate group and in 2 patients in the Aloe vera group after 2 courses of treatment. The scabietic lesions virtually disappeared in all of them. None of these patients had any noticeable side effects. It is concluded that Aloe vera gel is as effective as benzyl benzoate in the treatment of scabies. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.