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There are a range of bugs and viruses that you can catch during sex. Learn about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), how to prevent them, how to diagnose them and how they are treated.


What is it?

Scabies is a skin infection caused by very small mites which burrow into the skin.

How do you get it?

You can only get scabies from someone who has scabies — through skin-to-skin contact during sex, or from sharing towels, clothing or bedding.

What are the symptoms?

Scabies symptoms can appear within four weeks after exposure.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Intense itching
  • Visible burrows on the skin between the fingers, under armpits, around the groin area or other skin creases
  • A bumpy or pimple like rash
  • Small clear fluid filled spots or lesions
Diagnosis and treatment

You or a doctor can check if you have scabies by inspecting for burrows on top of the skin.

Scabies is treated with a cream available from a pharmacy without prescription.

Once you apply the treatment, wash all clothes, towels and linen in warm soapy water.

Some symptoms can persist for three to four weeks after treatment.

How do you prevent it?

Scabies spreads easily between people with no proven ways to prevent it. However, treatment for scabies is straightforward.