Scabies, or ‘the itch’, is a contagious skin disease caused by the itch mite. Scabies can be treated with a special cream or with tablets.

Recognising scabies

You can recognise scabies by itching that gets worse, especially at night and when it is hot. You can have itching all over your body. Sometimes you get blisters and red lumps on your skin. You may also see red stripes where the mites have dug tunnels.

Treating scabies

Scabies can be treated with cream or with tablets. You can also take measures such as washing bed linen and clothing at 60 °C. It is very important that all members of your household and close contacts are treated at the same time as you, even if they have no symptoms (yet). This is the only way to avoid getting scabies again. More information about treating scabies.

Preventing scabies

Scabies is common and anyone can get it. It spreads through lengthy or intensive physical contact with someone who has scabies or by sharing bed linen or clothing.  Do not use anyone else's unwashed clothing or bed linen and avoid physical contact with people who have scabies.

Go to the Q&A about scabies for more information about preventing and treating scabies.