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Sexually Transmitted Disease Program - STD Information - Scabies


Scabies

Facts

  • 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.

Symptoms
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.

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

Testing
See a health care provider for proper diagnosis.

Treatment
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.

Prevention
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.


For information on free and low cost STD testing and treatment services in Los Angeles County, call the STD Hotline at 1-800-758-0880 or visit our
STD Testing & Services section.

 

Tell Your Partners


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STD Program Hotline
1-800-758-0880

STD information and referrals to STD clinics and HIV test sites in LA County.

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