One of the big questions from everyone who gets scabies is…where did I get it from?
Not only is this a matter of curiosity, it also gives you an idea of how to prevent yourself ever getting it again.
Before we get into the common places of transmission, let’s talk about how scabies are spread in the first place.
As I’ve discussed earlier here on the blog, scabies are spread mostly through human to human contact. Scabies transmission is most likely during prolonged contact, meaning a handshake or a hug is unlikely to transmit.
It’s also worth noting that while scabies can live off the human body, it’s uncommon for people to catch scabies from things like furniture or bedding. In fact, one study showed that only 4 in 272 people caught scabies after sleeping in a bed that was previously slept in by a scabies sufferer. Not a high percentage at all.
So now that we know how scabies are spread, what are the most common ways people manage to get them?
While scabies is technically not an STD, probably the most common way people contract scabies is through their sexual partner.
Whether this is your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, or just a friendly stranger you met at the bar, having sexual contact with someone often involves highly prolonged skin-to-skin contact, and often involves spending an entire night beside each other as well.
In one article I read, it estimated that up to 70% of scabies transmissions are from a sexual partner.
If you’ve managed to catch scabies, have a think about the last person you shared a bed with. It’s a good chance you got it from them!
Catching scabies from playing sport is also very common.
The most common culprits are heavy contact sports, such as rugby, wrestling, jiujitsu, judo and the like.
It can also be caught from the gym and from personal training, if close contact is prolonged, usually during activities like stretching or supporting during a workout.
Catching scabies from your kids is extremely common. As a parent, the amount of time you spend in skin contact with your child adds up to many hours a day, particularly when they are young.
Scabies are also very susceptible to scabies due to the long periods of time they spend in proximity to other children, such as in school, sports and extra curricular activities.
If you do ever have a child with scabies, make sure you treat promptly. Scabies is a inconvenience in adults, but is extremely serious in children if left untreated. Scabies also requires slightly different treatment in children than it does in adults.
Yes, you can get scabies from a massage.
In fact, this is an extremely common and little thought about way of contracting scabies.
The reason is, scabies love to live in between the fingers and nails. The skin is soft and easy to burrow into, which is why the hands are probably the most common place on the body that scabies are found.
If your masseuse has scabies (probably unknowingly, as symptoms can take up to six weeks to show), then there’s a very good chance they are passed to you during a massage.
Dealing with scabies?
If you’re currently dealing with scabies, the most important thing is to treat it asap. Scabies does not get better on its own and you will only cure it by using the right treatments in the right way.
To see our ultimate treatment plan and the exact regime I used to cure my scabies in just a couple of weeks, click here.
I have been dealing with Scabies for 9 weeks now. Not seeing much in new bites but the sores don’t want to heal up very fast. The original outbreak on my arms above the elbow still having sores. I have used about 5 oz of permethrin and 7 doses of ivermectin. My back has been the toughest part. I hit it with everything including peroxide/Epsom salt mixtures. I’ve done a great job exterminating the house band using bed/pillow bags and just sheets washing every other day. I just don’t believe you can cure in less than 2-3 months. Currently doing borax baths and baking soda/vinegar baths daily. Will do bleach baths next. But I’m proof it’s 3 months minimum for recovery.
Differs from person to person. 2 weeks for me. Although scarring etc lingered for longer.