Scabies are tiny mites (smaller than crabs) that burrow under the skin to lay eggs.


Symptoms are usually noticed within four weeks of contact. The most common symptom is intense itching which is caused when the mites burrow under the skin. The burrowing causes fine red marks on the skin. The mites like warm areas of skin, such as the groin or armpits. They are also found in the spaces between the fingers and toes. Itching is usually worse while warm, like when in bed.

How can you get it?

Scabies are passed on through skin to skin contact, both sexual and non-sexual. They are detected by examining the itchy area under a bright light.


Scabies are cured by using the appropriate scabies lotions available at pharmacies. All bed linen, towels and underwear that have come in contact with the infected area should be washed in a hot soapy wash. Sexual partners and anyone in close physical contact should also be treated to avoid re-infection. It is also advisable to repeat the treatment after seven to ten days.

I'm living with HIV

Severe immunosuppression can lead to difficulty eradicating scabies. Otherwise, people with HIV are not affected differently to others.


There are no specific means to prevent picking up scabies, however getting them treated quickly will reduce the risk of transmission to others and will lessen the amount of scabies in the community.


Scroll through to view

  • Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can infect the mucous lining of the penis, anus or eyes.

    Keep reading…
  • Gonorrhoea

    Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that lives in the mucous lining of the penis, throat, anus or eyes.

    Keep reading…
  • Herpes (HSV)

    Herpes (HSV) presents in two different types.

    Keep reading…
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

    Human Papillomavirus (Warts) is the virus that can cause warts on the penis, anus or surrounding areas.

    Keep reading…
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

    LGV is a particularly virulent form of the Chlamydia bacteria. It is still rare, but it may become more common over time.

    Keep reading…
  • HIV

    ​We comprehensively discuss HIV across our website, so we'll just cover the basics here. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It belongs to a group of viruses called retroviruses, which work by invading cells within the body then begin to continually reproduce itself.

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A causes inflammation in the liver and is the form of the virus which often comes on very quickly and is short-term but severe.

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. 

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes serious damage to the liver.

    Keep reading…
  • Syphilis

    Syphilis is a bacterial infection that infects the penis, throat or anus and then spreads to different parts of the body through the bloodstream.

    Keep reading…
  • Gut Infections

    Gut Infections are caused by bacteria (such as amoebiasis, shigellosis, giardiasis and salmonellosis).

    Keep reading…
  • Pubic Lice (Crabs)

    Pubic Lice (Crabs) are small parasites that grip onto the hair in the genital area.

    Keep reading…
  • Scabies

    Scabies are tiny mites (smaller than crabs) that burrow under the skin to lay eggs.

    Keep reading…
  • Thrush

    Thrush (or Candidiasis) is a yeast infection that irritates the mucous membranes around the genitals.

    Keep reading…
  • Previous
  • Next

    No results available