Keeping your distance



Scabies is contagious 

We don’t think distance is a good thing, normally.  The science tells us, though, that Scabies is a very contagious condition.  It can be passed from one person to another by prolonged contact, or in some cases by shared use of items of clothing, towels, or bedding.  If a person is severely infested it could be through a handshake.

What can you do?

One of my own personal struggles when I had Scabies was the fear that I would give it to someone else.  Wow, that was tough!  I personally advocate quarantining oneself as much as possible to avoid passing Scabies along to someone else.  How did I do this myself?

1.       I put a single mattress on the floor in my home office, a room in our house that no one else in our family needed to use, and slept on it until I felt sure I was free of Scabies.

2.       I kept separate towels, not only for my own bathing use as I normally do, but even for use in the kitchen.

3.       I did not touch any member of my family for the close to four months that I had Scabies.  The only exception to that was when I was leaving on a long trip, and I put a newly laundered flannel shirt over my clothes just after I had showered and hugged my family.

4.       I sat on chairs that were not upholstered (just wooden, without any fabric).

5.       I kept to a strict regimen of washing my own sheets, comforter, towels, and clothes every day, to cleanse my own environment of any Scabies mites that might be there and rid myself of the condition as soon as possible.

6.       Whenever I went out where there were other people, such as going to church or out to eat, I made sure I showered and put on newly washed clothes and kept my contact with people to a minimum.

7.       I was very careful about shaking hands with people.

Some people I talked to about my condition were amazed that no one else in our family got Scabies when I had it.  Honestly, with everything I did I don’t know how they could have got it!

It was not easy keeping my distance, especially for as long as I did.  I have no regrets, and would do the same thing again if I had to.  At the same time, my hope for you is that if you or a loved one has Scabies, your journey will be a short one, and keeping your distance will not be for more than a few weeks.


Image courtesy of prozac1 at


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