Surprisingly this question gets asked a lot.
The short answer is no, it is very unlikely you will get scabies from a swimming pool or the ocean.
Let’s discuss why.
Scabies is spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact such as sexual intercourse or holding hands for a period of time. In fact, a very high percentage of people tend to have gotten scabies from either their children or sexual partner.
The reason this is unlikely to happen in a swimming pool is because prolonged skin to skin contact is not common while swimming.
Moreover, scabies are unlikely to change hosts while underwater.
For a scabies mite to change hosts, it is required to come to the surface of the skin and then burrow into the new host. According to the CDC, it is very unlikely will emerge from under the skin while the host is underwater.
While this has not been studied formally, we do know that scabies always act in the best interests of their survival. Changing hosts is only done at opportune times – while you are submerged in water would certainly not be one of them.
The final reason why catching scabies from a swimming pool is unlikely is because pools are generally heavily chlorinated. When exposed to bleach or chlorine directly, a scabies mite is very unlikely to survive, let alone underwater.
The one exception to this is if someone with Norwegian scabies has been in the pool recently.
Norwegian scabies is a more intense type of scabies infestation, where it is normal for many scabies mites to sit atop the surface of the skin, rather than burrowed beneath it.
In this case, it is likely scabies mites will have entered the water.
However, catching Norwegian scabies in this way is highly unlikely also. Here’s why:
First of all, Norwegian scabies is extremely obvious. There would rarely be a case where a person has Norwegian scabies and is unaware they have Norwegian scabies.
For anyone to go to a public swimming pool with that condition would be extremely unlikely.
The second reason is the same as the one we mentioned earlier – it’s difficult for scabies mites to survive for very long in chlorinated water without a host. When exposed directly to these types of chemicals, they die very quickly.
Therefore – if you want to go swimming, relax. There are many things you could possibly catch in a swimming pool, but scabies isn’t likely to be one of them.
Suffering from scabies?
If you’re dealing with scabies at the moment, it’s time to start treating seriously.
Scabies does not heal on its own.
Left untreated, it only gets worse. More mites hatch, more mites burrow, more mites lay eggs.
It’s not pretty. Believe me, I know.
You need treatment. Luckily, I’ve spent many hours collating the latest research and put together a treatment plan that worked. Not only did it work, it worked fast. Within a couple of weeks, I was back to normal.
That entire treatment plan has been written up in this blog post. It’s completely free to access, no gimmicks. If you’re suffering from scabies right now, I highly recommend you read it. Click here to go there now.
Wishing you back to health soon!
i have been battling scabies for years now.
i have spent thousands of dollars and they might get better for a few days and them come raging back. i have washed linens every night. i stopped using towels(yes, i drip dry because i am afraid that i was reinvesting myself from washed and dried towels that still might have mites…aka…can u tell this is making me nuts???). i put mattress covers on and pillow covers on my bed. i spray down the mattress and pillow covers each night. i put pillows in dryer. i dusted my mattress with diatomaceous earth inside the mattress cover and sealed it. i ruined my furniture with sticky pyrethrum spray. i use ivermectin at least once a week(wondering if i will get some malignant tumor in my liver from it). i have used pyrethrum cream. i vacuumed to hell and back. ,i have steam cleaned the furniture. i use kleen free as a body wash(and on the floors, in the car, in the laundry and anywhere i sat.)
i have distanced myself from my animals for a few years now . i don’t let them in the bed anymore or on the furniture so that i don’t cross contaminate them. i have bathed them in the past with sulfur dips, dusted them with diatomaceous earth, used topical monthly flea treatments which also kill ear mites, washed their bedding but i notice they still scratch so i always wondering if they are the reason i can’t kill scabies in the house. btw…pyrethrum which you probably know is highly toxic to cats.
what do you suggest? this is something that i have never told anyone.
how do you suggest i treat cats for scabies if they are hanging out on them only to get back on me to reproduce???
You shouldn’t be taking ivermectin long term. Have you had a skin scrape or physical exam done by a derm? Confirm 100% that it’s scabies before you go on.
jackie ohh says
Honestly, I would rid myself of my animals if i suspected I have scabies and they are living on them and reinfesting you. I am sorry you have gone through this. My husband has had them 3 times and gave them to me and they are no fun. Every time he goes to a certain friend’s house he gets them (dying friend). Hope you get rid of them. Good luck and now we are trying the essential oil treatment Jon gave us.