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Scabies

Scabies is a skin condition that is caused by very small mites that burrow into the skin.  It is not a dangerous infection, but it can be very itchy.  

People may get scabies between their fingers, or on other parts of the body where the skin is folded and is warm.  Scabies can be spread by people having close contact with each other, which may include sexual contact, and also by contact with infected bed linen or clothes.

What symptoms can you get?

  • red lines or blotches on the skin, caused by the mites burrowing into the skin (but the mites cannot be seen) 
  • this can be anywhere on the body but is more likely in warm areas where the skin is folded e.g. armpits, between the fingers, inside the elbow

How can we treat scabies?

Scabies can be treated with a special lotion, which can be bought from a chemist, or a doctor or nurse may prescribe it for you.

If you think you may have scabies, it is important to see a doctor or nurse to make sure that it is not a different skin condition.

When someone is treated for scabies, everyone in their household and any sexual partners must also be treated at the same time, to stop the infection coming back. Also, bed linen and clothes that may be infected need to be washed at a high temperature to destroy any contamination that may be there.