Scabies is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabei. Scabies can be passed on through close body contact, though it does not have to be sexual.

The mites which cause scabies can be found in the genital area, on the hands, between the fingers, on the wrists and elbows, underneath the arms, on the abdomen, on the breasts, around the nipples in women, on the feet and ankles, and around the buttocks.

How do you recognise them

Scabies mites are very tiny and impossible to see with the naked eye.You may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Intense itching in the affected areas
  • An itchy red rash or tiny spots (the rash can look like other itchy conditions, such as eczema).
  • Inflammation or raw, broken skin in the affected areas, usually caused by scratching.

How they're treated

Treatment is with a special lotion. You will also want to wash all bedding, towels and clothing to avoid reinfection.

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