Can you get scabies from gardening?
No, you cannot get scabies from gardening. Here is why. Scabies is an infection that is caused by mites. Mites are eight-legged insects that have a parasitic relationship with humans. Let’s briefly discuss the parasitic activities they carry out on the skin of an individual.
- A pregnant mite lands on the skin of an individual, burrows into the deep layers of the skin, and then, lays its eggs.
- The eggs hatch after a while and the larvae develop. This development is what triggers the immune system of the individual to action. The skin of the individual begins to itch.
- The larvae grow into adult mites which also proceed to lay more eggs. It is as a result of this that the population of the mites begins to increase.
- The more the itching continues, the more sores would form. These blisters and sores open the skin up and allow for secondary bacterial infections.
- The more time the mites spend on the skin, the more the complications that would arise. Some of these complications include kidney diseases, heart diseases, etc.
The symptoms that appear once all of these things happen include the following;
Scabies symptoms in humans
- Itching (Most times, the affected persons do not feel the itching until night. The reason for this is because they are calmer and are able to feel more at night.)
- Rashes and boil-like spots on the skin.
- Burrow lines across the skin (These lines are proof of the activities of the mites.)
Most of these symptoms are seen in places like the n!pples, scr0tum, pen!s, thighs, butt0cks, waist, shoulder blades, and the skin between the fingers. If you aren’t seeing any of these symptoms, it means you do not have scabies. Those that haven’t had scabies before will only see symptoms after a period of 3 to 5 weeks.
What the above definition implies is that you can only get scabies when mites get on your skin somehow and not from gardening. Below are some of the ways mites can land on an individual’s skin;
How do you contract scabies?
- Contact with another person that is affected with scabies
This contact can be achieved through a whole number of ways. The commonest route is via $ex between adults, since int!macy is maintained for a long period. What this implies is that forms of contact like handshakes or hugs with the affected individual won’t transfer the mites. Hugs and handshakes aren’t forms of prolonged contact.
Unfortunately, mites can live off their host for a certain period of time before dying. If you happen to use a material that has been used by the affected person—towels, pillow cases, bed sheets, clothes, etc—you may end up contracting scabies.
From the points described above, you would realize that mites do not live on plants. You cannot get them from anything that isn’t human. Plants, twigs or shrubs are the last surfaces you would find the eight-legged mite. So, no, you cannot get scabies from gardening.
Gardening safety tips
In case you ever get worried about contracting a rash or any other skin infection as a result of your gardening activities, here are some safety procedures for you;
1. Ensure that you always gear up before proceeding into your garden. These gears should be made of materials thick and protective enough to protect you from thorns and other allergy-inducing materials. Examples of gear used for gardening include the following;
- Leather gloves
- Leather boots (or shoes that cover your feet entirely)
- Thick socks
- An overall made out of a thick material. This material should be one that can easily be ripped by the sharp ends of thorns. An overall styled in form of a jumpsuit is the best for gardening.
2. Gardening could open you to certain infections spread by insects that inhabit grasses and plants. To prevent all of these infections, here are some precautions that you can take;
- Lightly dust your overall with insect repelling powders before starting your gardening work.
- Most of these insects burrow out of their hiding places when the environment is cool—in the mornings and in the evenings. Ensure that you do your gardening in the afternoon. If you are worried about the sun, ensure that you use sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, or wear a pair of shades. You could also fix your gardening schedule to that time when the sun’s rays aren’t too strong.
- When an insect lands on your skin, do not kill it on the spot. All you need to do is use your fingers to send it tumbling off your skin. That way, you don’t have to suffer a bite from the insect.
- Ensure that you shower after gardening to get rid of any insect that might have hooked on to your body.
3. In case you have any wound during your gardening activity, ensure that you treat it as soon as possible. Start by running warm water across the surface. After that, use an antibacterial ointment across the wound. Fix a length of bandage across the wound and then, ensure that you change it regularly.
4. Avoid touching your face while gardening. Having a napkin close by would come out handy when you need to wipe sweat off your brows and face.