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Scabies are a tiny mite creature (bug) that burrows under the skin causing intense itching and sometimes a rash.

Scabies is transferred from person to person through prolonged skin contact and is easy to catch. Infestation may also occur by sharing clothing, towels, and bedding. Anyone can get scabies regardless of age, gender or standards of personal hygiene.

The tiny scabies mite prefers to burrow and lay its eggs in skin that is soft and protected. Areas such as wrists, between the fingers, folds of the armpit and elbow, the groin and the creases of the bottom are common areas.

Scabies are easily treated with gentle scrubbing of the skin followed by drying and applying a special lotion that you can buy from pharmacies. It’s important to follow the directions on the bottle carefully.

Speak to your pharmacist to make sure you buy the correct lotion.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your scabies, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

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Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Scabies

Scabies is an itchy rash caused by the scabies mite burrowing into the skin and causing intense itching. Scabies is not due to poor hygiene. Nor is it due to animal mites, which do not infest humans.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website


Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis).

Read more on WA Health website

Scabies - Farmer Health | Farmer Health

Scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei) is caused by small mites that burrow into the skin. These mites are too small to see. If you have scabies, the skin becomes very itchy and when you scratch you can spread the eggs to other...

Read more on The National Centre for Farmer Health website

Scabies -

Scabies is a condition caused by tiny mites that burrow under the skin and cause intense itching and sometimes a rash.

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Scabies - ACD

Scabies is a condition that occurs as a result of infestation with a tiny mite (parasite) called Sarcoptes scabei var hominis.

Read more on Australasian College of Dermatologists website

Scabies (sexually transmitted infection)

Scabies is a highly contagious skin infection caused by tiny mites that burrow into your skin. The condition can be transferred through sexual activity.

Read more on WA Health website

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