This is an interesting question.
If you’ve read the CDC brief on scabies, it will tell you that scabies cannot survive at heats above 50°C (122°F). If you can expose scabies mites to that heat for more than ten minutes, they die.
This leads a lot of smart people to think – what about a sauna!!
A sauna usually runs from 70°C (158°F) and upwards, so surely sitting in a hot sauna for 10 minutes would kill all the mites, no?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
This is because of two reasons:
Scabies mites don’t live on the surface of your skin
The thing about scabies mites is they burrow underneath your skin. That means in many ways, they are protected from external elements, one of these being heat. If your skin is exposed to heats of 70°C (158°F), that doesn’t mean the mites are necessarily being exposed to the same temperatures. Saunas can still be effective, and often will kill the portion of mites that are atop the surface of your skin, but a sauna is certainly not a complete treatment for scabies. The mites underneath your skin will still survive and still continue to burrow and breed.
Your body temperature doesn’t rise that much in a sauna
Interestingly, if you read the science on saunas, they don’t actually raise the core temperature of your body by that much – 2 to 3 degrees at most. If you sit in a 70°C (158°F) sauna, it doesn’t mean your body temperature will also rise to that amount. Your body temperature will raise a little, possibly to around 41 or 42°C (108°F). Any scabies under the surface of your skin will very comfortably survive that temperature.
Should you use a sauna to treat scabies?
Spending time in the sauna will certainly not worsen your scabies condition, and in fact you may succeed in killing some surface mites, which is still great. Any scabies mite killed is a victory, of course! However, it would be unwise to rely completely on sauna treatment to cure your scabies.
The best way to ensure a full recovery from scabies is to use a full array of treatments. That means prescription treatments like permethrin and ivermectin, plus natural treatments like tea tree oil and neem oil, plus supportive treatments like moisturizing, sulfur baths and saunas. Only a multi pronged approach like this will ensure a fast and full recovery.
If you’re currently suffering from scabies, I would highly recommend checking out my guide on killing scabies quickly and safely. It is a complete guide to using all proven treatments together, and it is the exact treatment I used to kill my scabies infestation in just under two weeks. It’s all written up in my article The Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid Of Scabies. If you’re battling scabies right now, I’d highly recommend you check it out – you can do so by clicking here.
Good luck with your treatment!