Benzyl benzoate is one of the older preparations used to treat scabies. Scabies is a skin infection caused by the mite sarcoptes scabiei. It is characterised by severe itching (particularly at night), red spots, and may lead to a secondary infection. Benzyl benzoate is lethal to this mite and so is useful in the treatment of scabies. It is also used to treat lice infestation of the head and body. Benzyl benzoate is not the treatment of choice for scabies due to its irritant properties.