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Division of HIV and STD Programs
600 S. Commonwealth Ave., 10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone:(213) 351-8000
Office Hrs: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F
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Scabies Information

Scabies Overview

  • Caused by tiny bugs (called mites) that crawl under your skin and lay eggs
  • Causes intense itching

How do you get it?
Scabies is highly contagious and transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. It can be spread by both sexual and nonsexual direct contact, such as sharing sheets, towels or clothing belonging to someone who has scabies.

Intense itching that may be worse at night. You may also see small red bumps or lines on the skin where the mites have been. The incubation period is about five weeks. Scabies is commonly found on your hands (between the fingers), wrists, waist, thighs, elbows, armpits and arms, around the genitals (penis, vagina, or buttocks) and the feet/ankles.

Itching gets worse and can last for years. Scratching can cause a skin infection.

See a health care provider for proper diagnosis.

If you have scabies, you will be given medication to put all over your body from the neck down. Clothing, sheets, and towels used in the past two weeks should be washed in hot water or dry cleaned.

Avoid contact with someone who has scabies. Using condoms may not protect you from scabies, because the bugs can live in places condoms do not cover. Limiting your number of sex partners or intimate contacts can lower your chance of getting infected.

HIV and STD Information

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