What is it? The scabies mite is a common parasite that is transmitted through close contact.

How does it work? The mite burrows under the skin of the host, and the symptoms (severe itching) are not caused by the mite itself but by an allergic reaction to the mite’s faeces.

How can I catch it? Transmission is not necessarily sexual, but by any very close contact such as sharing bedding.

How can I treat it? Infestations are easily treated with an insecticidal cream.

What are pubic lice? These are also called “crabs”. Public lice are slightly different bugs but the symptoms and treatment are similar as with scabies.

If you have any questions, speak to your nurse or doctor, or see the sexual health useful conctacts list. To book a sexual health screen online visit