Scabies is caused by a mite, a tiny insect that you can see under a microscope. The females burrow their way into the skin and lay their eggs in these tunnels. The eggs hatch after three to four days. Scabies is not serious, but it does cause itching.

  • Itching, that may continue for a while after treatment
  • Tunnels may be visible on your wrists, between your fingers, behind your knees and under your breasts
  • Small reddish lumps may appear on the genitals
  • Scratching may damage the skin – and it doesn’t relieve the itching

Scabies is easy to treat with a cream or gel. Bedding, towels and clothes should also be washed in water with a temperature of at least 60°C.

Safe Sex

A condom doesn’t protect you against scabies. Scabies is usually passed on during close physical contact. You can also get it from sleeping in a bed belonging to someone who has scabies or by wearing that person's clothes.