Scabies is a parasitic mite that burrows into human skin and lays eggs beneath the surface of the skin. This causes rashes and skin bumps that look like acne. The standard treatment includes pesticide cream and natural remedies.
The sauna can reduce scabies to some degree by killing surface mites but it cannot cure it. Even if you sit in a high-temperature sauna, it will raise your core temperature by only 2 to 3 degrees at most. This is not enough to kill the mites burrowed deep inside your skin.
That said, using the sauna is not going to hurt you. If anything, it will help ease some of your discomforts. We recommend using the sauna if you have scabies but also get it treated properly.
In the rest of the article, we are going to take a deeper look at how to use the sauna if you have scabies.
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Table of Contents
- Does Sauna Kill Mites?
- Should You Use Sauna to Treat Scabies
- How to Use Sauna to Treat Scabies
Does Sauna Kill Mites?
According to CDC, scabies mites will die if exposed to a temperature of 122°F for 10 minutes.
And since ideally most traditional sauna runs at 150-175 °F and infrared saunas at 120-130°F, you would think that a 10 min sauna session can solve your problem.
But curing scabies is not that simple.
In fact, the sauna won't help you kill mites. It only offers you some relief.
Here’s why sitting in the sauna won’t kill mites.
Mites Burrow Deep into Your Skin
In order to protect themselves from external elements like heat, the mites burrow deep into your skin.
If they are exposed to 122°F heat, the mites will die. But if they are burrowed deep into your skin, they won’t be exposed to that temperature.
Sure, some mites will remain on the surface of your skin. And when you expose them to the sauna heat, they will be terminated. Most mites burrowed deep into your skin will survive.
The Body’s Core Temperature Doesn’t Rise High Enough
In a sauna, no matter how high the temperature is, the body's core temperature will rise by only 2 to 3 degrees. When the external heat rises, the body starts sweating profusely.
This is the body's natural way of cooling down. It can regulate the core temperature in order to survive the environment.
Likewise, in a cold environment, the body temperature rises to keep you from freezing to death.
So even if the sauna is set to the highest temperature, the body won’t be heated to the degree needed to kill the mites in your skin. If you sit in a sauna of 150 °F, your body temperature may only rise to 108 °F and not more.
Should You Use Sauna to Treat Scabies
It’s now clear how using the sauna won’t cure scabies but it will certainly help to a great degree. At the very least, it won’t worsen your condition. Moreover, the sauna heat will kill some of the mites living under the surface of your skin.
To cure scabies for cure you need to undergo proper treatment. We recommend seeing a doctor. You are likely to get prescriptive treatments like ivermectin and permethrin. You can also try some natural treatments like neem oil and tea tree oil.
Steam baths, saunas, and sulfur baths are supportive treatments. They can ease your discomfort and can even accelerate your recovery but they won't help you find a cure.
How to Use Sauna to Treat Scabies
Like we said earlier, the sauna will help you ease your discomfort. Here’s how to use the sauna properly to treat scabies:
1. Spent Max 20 Mins
Ideally, you shouldn’t spend more than 10 to 20 mins inside the sauna. According to the CDC, 10 mins exposed to a heat of 122°F should kill the mites. So spending 10 to 15 mins should be enough to kill the mites on the surface of your skin.
Don't stay in the sauna for more than 20 mins.
While there are people like Joe Rogan who prefer using the sauna 5 times a week, we recommend using it not more than 3-4 times a week. We also recommended using the traditional at 150°F and the infrared sauna at 120°F.
2. Use Anti-Scabies Oil
As you sit inside the sauna, the heat helps open the pores of your skin. That's how the mites right underneath your skin are killed. For mites that are burrowed deep into the skin, you can use anti-scabies cream.
It's best to use the cream right after you step outside the sauna because you can take advantage of the open skin pores.
We recommend using natural treatments like tea oil and neem oil. You can mix them with moisturizers before applying them to your body.
That’s it. If you take these steps, you are likely to feel a bit of relief but it’s not to cure scabies completely.
Q. Does Steam Get Rid of Scabies?
Hot steam can kill mites living near the surface of your skin but it won’t kill the mites burrowed deep into your skin. To cure scabies completely you need to consult a doctor and follow the treatment they recommend.
Q. Does Hot Showers Help Scabies?
Yes, how a shower can help with scabies but it can’t kill the mites. In other words, hot showers can’t cure scabies. That’s because mites burrow deep into your skin. No matter how hot the water is, it can’t pierce through layers of skin. Moreover, the body has a natural way of regulating the core temperature. So sitting in the hot shower for hours won’t make any difference either. Hot showers can kill some of the surface-level mites but you need proper treatment to cure scabies completely.
The sauna can’t kill mites and therefore it can’t cure scabies. There are a number of reasons why. First off, mites burrow deep into the skin where the heat can’t penetrate them. And no matter how hot the sauna is, the body’s core temperature won’t rise more than 2 to 3 degrees. This means the mites deep inside won’t be killed.
That’s it for this more folks. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.
(Feature image by WikiImages from Pixabay)