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Can I get a STI from a toilet seat?
Dear Sex Doc,
I share a house with a bunch of guys and have started getting zit like bumps on the back of my legs. We all share the bathroom and toilets. I’m afraid I got an STD or something. Is it possible to catch something from a toilet seat?
Scared to Sit When I Shit
Dear Scared to Sit When I Shit,
You’ve probably developed some pretty massive quads from hovering the last month or two. But, be assured that the chances of getting a STD from a toilet seat are slim to none.
Most of the organisms that cause STD’s, whether viral or bacterial, will die almost immediately on a toilet. In fact, STD’s need a warm, moist body to survive. Even if someone with a raging case of chlamydia unloaded a huge discharge on a toilet seat, the chances of the ‘sitter’ getting infected are extremely rare.
Theoretically, if you’re sitting on the shitter a heartbeat after one of your infected buds, you could catch something. However, you would either have to be dragging your peehole and/or anus all over the seat to get it. Or, it is possible that living bacteria or viruses could make their way into your body through cracks in your skin.
But Scared to Sit When I Shit, one STD that is possible (but again, highly unlikely) to contract from your roommates’ toilet treats is crabs.
Crabs are parasites that feed on human blood. You’d know you have them if your groin is permenantly attached to your cat’s scratching pole. Plus, you’d notice little red dots (blood) in your tighty whities.
Crabs can live outside of the body for about 24 hours. So STSWIS, theoretically, they could be on a toilet seat until they find another host to eat. However, the little buggers are more likely to jump from pubes to pubes.
The zit-like bumps on your legs could be a number of minor skin conditions including folliculitis. This is an inflammation of the hair follicles, which looks like small, white-headed pimples. If the rash on your legs is folliculitis, it will most likely clear up by itself in a couple of days. If the rash remains, please consult your family doctor.
Now STSWIS and everyone else out there, I don’t want you all freaking out about toilet seats. Like I mentioned, the chances of catching something from sitting on the pooper are very rare. It is always a good idea to wipe the seat and/or use a ‘seat’ protector.
Toilet seats do get a bit of a bum rap. But research on germs regularly shows that the chances of getting a bacterial infection from a telephone are 50 times more likely than from sitting on the porcelain bowl.
Best regards,Dr. Brian Parker
This article was published on Saturday 27 January, 2007.
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