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July 07, 2008

What To Do When You Have Scabies

Nobody wants to have scabies, but when you do, all hope is not lost. Just most hope. For those of you unsure about what scabies is, it’s caused by a little bug, called an “itch mite,” that burrows into your skin, kind of like that bug that goes into Chekov’s ear in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” A little while after the critters get into your skin, little itchy bumps start appearing all over your body. That’s why it’s called an itch mite, because they make things itchy. If they made things chocolaty, it would be called a “chocolate mite.” Scientists who study these things speculate that such a mite would almost certainly cause the most delicious rashes ever.

How do you contract scabies? There are two ways: one is to have skin to skin contact with an infected person. The other is to go swimming in a pool filled with itch mites.  This second way is far less common as there is no such thing as a swimming pool filled with itch mites.


If scabies sounds disgusting, that’s only because Westerners have a bias against any little bugs that lay their eggs under your skin and then crawl around in there laying more and more eggs, which in turn hatch more and more bugs. Similar biases exist against bedbugs and ringworm. Why? They are God’s creatures just like dolphins and panda bears. If a panda bear crawled into your skin, you probably wouldn’t say, “That’s disgusting.” You would say, “That’s adorable,” especially if it was a little panda bear cub (which really would be adorable). In fact, kangaroos and other marsupials literally keep their babies in pouches, which is kind of like having scabies. Does that mean duck-billed platypuses are disgusting? Yes, but not because they remind us of itch mites, but because they are so fucking stupid-looking.

What to do if you have scabies? The first thing you should do is write a blog about it, informing people about what scabies is, and why you’re not disgusting just because you have bugs crawling all over you. The second thing you should do is see a doctor (I recommend Dr. Liebowitz). Normal treatment for scabies includes antibiotics and all the ice cream you can eat. The antibiotics will kill the mites and the ice cream will fill the empty hole in your heart. After that, you need to hire a Mexican girl to clean your entire house for you. If a Mexican girl is unavailable, Guatemalans are also good. Don’t do your own cleaning because that makes you look cheap.

As I said, scabies doesn’t mean the end of hope. It just means you will never be loved again.


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Firsties! I'm the man!


This was very fun to send my friend who actually got scabies while in Nicaragua. Hope she feels the same way!


Just reading your description made me wriggle around uncomfortably. Thank you. ew.


Nuh UH! OhmyGOD! NOOOOOO! That mite! Look at it! This is a bad bad thing. As Yoda might say: Bad squirmy am I.

You're like a walking Kootie now!

Do these mites hang out in the "warm" places of their human hosts? Arm pits, butt cracks, etc? I'm grossin' out. And now I'm going to have to google what the f'n scabies rash looks like...

And to think I was JUST going to fix myself a lunchypooh consisting of milk, a pear, and a roast beast samwich with lettuce, onion, and a roasted beast. Now all I can think about is small creatures that God didn't mean to make. And gettng a Mexican chick to clean my house, cheap.


Googlinge scabies at work now. Horrifying. Thanks.

Matt S

Diseases that are intrinsically funny: scabies, rickets, shingles, (the big 3) lumbago, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, penis fish, anal fissures, the list goes on and on...

Diseases which are not: cancer, AIDS, SIDS, alzheimers, black lung

Debatable/depends on context/too soon perhaps/grey area: ebola, schizophrenia, mad cow disease, black plague, rheumatism, hairlip


Or is this an easy way to get out of having to get too close to any fans at the book signings? "Oh, I would LOVE to hug and/or kiss you but unfortunately I have SCABIES!!!"

When you previously wrote about itchy fingers, of course my first thought was "Scabies!", but that is generally my first thought about anyone and everything.
Good luck with the antibiotics and ice cream. Hopefully you will be bug-free and quite fat by the time you get to San Francisco. I will be the one in the hazmat suit blowing you kisses from just outside the exit door.


Ewww! Better than crabs though.


I will shake your hand at the book signing even if you're still contagious, just so I can say "Michael Ian Black gave me Scabies!" ;-)

But seriously, get rid of those filthy hand bugs.


I certainly don't love you anymore, and I will never love you again. Sorry, and fuck you.


Ryalye forgot his/her daily dose of happy pills. That, or the scabies are bad today.


...That picture just scares the shit outta me. But, scabies or no scabies, I will tackle you to the ground and hug you to death when I see you.


Other funny conditions: goiters and gout. Gross and funny.

I have to say, this Americanized prejudice against fertile and clearly persistent creatures of God's green earth is simply shocking. I think we all know that if we had the ability to crawl beneath Michael Ian Black's skin and create babies that lived within him, the Zeus-like parent and human that he is, we would flea-jump at the chance! (A flea. Great example -- a flea can jump 200 times the length of its own body. 200 times! Shock and awe, you tyrannical buggist biggots, you! )

Do not lose hope Michael Ian Black -- we love you. If not we, then I. Also, I am an itch bug. Bask.


I just had to deal with scabies at work. That scabies cream smells really, really bad.

Still, could be worse, could be Impetigo. Or fucking headlice, the bastards. Please tell me America is suffering the current headlice plague as much as Britain. That's the penalty you pay for having kids, all the creepy, foul pestilence they bring home from school.


So it occurs to me that maybe you're not joking. ???

Oh dear.

Well then!

Hand shakes at your book signings: you could wear those white Michael Jackson gloves! Only don't just wear one on your left hand because that's your dominant one. Wear two, because those of us who are not "Satans Spawn" use the correct hand, the right one.

And poor guy, if scabies attacks more than your hands, (shame) you could just go for the whole (always trendy) Michael Jackson LOOK! Drape yourself in a silver jumpsuit and, um, face mask.

You'll find a way to work it, Scabie Boy.



Thank you for this useful information. My brother had scabies earlier this summer, and I made sure to keep my distance. No one...went near him for a while. But hey, that's what he gets. For getting scabies.


No,no,no...shingles must be added to the "not funny" list! Believe me,it really should.

You probably got scabies fom that dirty casino! I hope you're making your new cleaning lady wash the house down in scalding water.

Feel less itchy soon!


I almost believed you when you said that you could get from swimming in a pool of mites because I had been a life guard the summer before having scabies. I'm glad you came out with this truth because I didn't want to be the only one to have had scabies.

I had my direct roommate (but not my other 6 dormmates) do the cream thing and one of the two girls I had hooked up with earlier that semester at school. I now have a raisin sized scar on the inside of my elbow because I went swimming a number of times while the scab healed and it continued to fall off until it scarred me. I was lucky enough to not have any scabby babies on my other parts except for my wrists.

I am lucky to be loved now, but for a long time my AIM profile read Scabies free since 2003 since that rhymes. I would have blogged about it, but I was embarrassed until now.


I almost threw up on the road to understanding your condition. Get well soon.


Once I had a crack dealing neighbor. He must have come upon some hard times because all of a sudden he had to leave town. He gave us this really nice couch for free, but as he and his girlfriend were walking around shirtless and complaining about the heat, we noticed they had all these itchy spots on their bodies.

The couch was christened the "scabies couch," and we gladly accepted it.


My cousin gave my whole family scabies when I was in grade school.She came back from a trip to Germany and brought us scabies instead of gifts.

P.s I really enjoyed your gayness in Wet Hot American Summer.


:( Itchy itchy itchy itchy! This is like that guy last year who had flies lay egg in his scalp. Only more common. I don't let flies near my head anymore.

David Spedaris must have sent some scabies infected henchmen to infect you. It's his fault.

me again

Now I'm curious to know who gave you the scabes (slang term I made up). Maybe some book tour groupies?

Apparently a lot of people who read this blog have had them as well, which is a little bit suspicious. And gross.


matt those are funny diseases, restless leg syndrome aka jumpy legs aka jimmy jams


i just threw up everything ever.

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