What is it?

Scabies is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin. It can be passed on through close body or sexual contact, or from infected clothing, bedding or towels.

How do I get it?

You can catch scabies through close body contact or sexual contact with someone who is infected with the mites.

If you develop scabies, you may have intense itching that's worse at night. The itching can be in your genital area, but it also often occurs between your fingers, on wrists and ankles, under your arms, or on your body and breasts.

You may have a rash or tiny spots. In some people, scabies can be confused with eczema. It's usually very difficult to see the mites.

A sexual health clinician or GP can check for scabies through a physical examination. 

Scabies can usually be successfully treated using special creams or shampoos available over the counter in most pharmacies, or from a GP or GUM clinic. The itching can sometimes continue for a short period, even after effective treatment.

As scabies is passed through direct physical contact, condoms can not prevent the transmission of scabies. Do not have sex until you (and your partner/s) have completed the treatment. Clean all bedding, clothing and towels in a hot cycle. And avoid prolonged close contact if you or someone you know has scabies.