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Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Skip to: Symptoms - Treatment

Scabies is a skin condition that’s caused by tiny mites burrowing into your skin.

It’s highly contagious, but it’s not serious and can be treated very easily. Prolonged physical contact, such as sex or holding hands, can allow the mites to jump from person to person.

They like to burrow into the skin and lay their eggs, most commonly in warmer areas of your body such as between folds of skin.

It’s important to see a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of scabies, as you want to avoid passing it on to anyone else. The symptoms of scabies are similar to many other skin problems, so you need a correct diagnosis to ensure the most effective treatment.

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Itching potentially caused by scabies
Man scratching arm because of scabies mites

Symptoms of Scabies

While scabies mites won’t cause you any lasting damage, they will cause persistent, sometimes severe itching. You may notice this more when your skin is warm, such as during hot weather or when you’re in bed.

Many people also develop a rash of tiny red bumps where the mites have entered the skin. These can appear anywhere on the body, but adults won’t normally get them above the neck area.

You should try not to scratch the rash, as it may cause sores to develop and mean the condition takes longer to clear up.

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How to Treat Scabies

First and foremost, you need to get rid of the mites. Our doctors can advise you about the most effective cream or lotion to use.

If your itching is particularly bad, tell the doctor and see if there’s a separate corticosteroid cream you can use to help you resist the urge to scratch.

You will also need to be treated straight away if your partner or someone you live with gets scabies, even if you haven’t had any symptoms yourself.

The condition can sometimes takes up to two months to cause any symptoms, so it’s important to follow the same treatment plan as the person showing signs of scabies.

You should also avoid physical contact until everyone involved has finished their treatment, and wash all clothing and bed linen in your house.

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Applying skin cream to treat scabies

Do You Need To See a Doctor? 

If you’re starting to feel itchy and you’re worried it might be scabies, book an online consultation with one of our doctors today.

They’ll be able to take a look at your skin and discuss your symptoms in order to decide if you have scabies and recommend the best treatment going forward.

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