Whenever someone is diagnosed with scabies the first thing they think is, where did I get these darn things from?
The first suspect is your partner, your kids, your roommates. But then your mind wanders to other places – work, yoga, the gym?
But can you get scabies from the gym?
In theory the answer is yes, but it’s not so clear cut in reality.
Remember, scabies is spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact. So the type of activities you’re doing at the gym are going to be the biggest factor.
For example, if you go to a weightlifting gym, and you’re wondering if you could have caught scabies from a machine or a dumbell, the answer is probably no. It’s not impossible, but if it were common to catch scabies this way, every second person at the gym would have it.
In another scenario, however, let’s say you go to a wrestling or jiujitsu gym. This involves you lying on other people, hugging, grappling, wrestling each other to the ground. Anybody who has ever done wrestling or contact sports will know how much skin to skin contact is involved. Therefore yes, it is very possible that you could contract scabies from an activity like wrestling or rugby, or even something like paired yoga.
Another thing worth considering is that it is in fact possible to catch scabies from furniture. If you are using pilates or yoga mats that haven’t been cleaned properly between uses, it is possible (though unlikely) that you could catch scabies from them. However, again, this isn’t a common way to catch scabies. Like I said, if it was easy to catch scabies this way, every second person in yoga class would have it.
At the end of the day, the important thing isn’t whether or not you got scabies from the gym, because you will never know for sure. The important thing is that you treat it promptly to avoid spreading it to anyone else, and let anyone you know who might be at risk about your diagnosis and recommend them to treat as well.
Remember, you can get scabies more than once, so if you do not inform people who might be at risk and they do end up having it, there’s a chance you could catch it again. This is possible and does happen, which is why places like hospitals and retirements homes usually go on high alert whenever a case of scabies is discovered.
If you got it from the gym, it’s unlikely that you’ve spread it to anyone, especially if you caught it early. The people you would be obligated to tell are your training partners if you do close combat sports, and possibly other members of your team if you do a sport like judo or rugby. After that, simply stay clear of training while you treat your scabies, and within a week or two you should be back in the gym like you never left.
As for treatment, there are various natural and prescription treatments you can use that reliably kill scabies. The trick is to hit it hard and fast from every angle.
When I first got scabies, I remember furiously reading through the internet looking for all the possible treatments. What I came up with after reading many studies was a multi-pronged treatment that cured me in just under two weeks.
The first thing I did was I used permethrin cream. This is the standard prescription treatment. It’s essential that you use permethrin properly – if you’ve been prescribed permethrin, I would highly recommend reading my guide on how to use permethrin properly before starting.
If you need to get hold off some permethrin cream, it’s reasonably easy to buy online and/or mix yourself. I have a guide on how to do that here.
I also used many natural treatments, including neem oil, tea tree oil and clove oil. These have all been proven to be effective against scabies – you can check out some of those studies, and recommendations on how to use each treatment, in my article here.
Lastly, if you want to see the exact treatment that I used to kick my scabies in just a couple of weeks, you can check out my article The Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid Of Scabies. It details everything step by step, and I’m hopeful it will work for you as well as it did for me. Best of luck and wishing you back to full health soon!