Thu, 27 Oct 2022

NHS information on scabies

We are aware of a rise in the number of scabies cases across the Lothians. If you have concerns, please read the following NHS guidance on how to treat and stop the spread.

Scabies is common and anyone can get it. It should be treated quickly to stop it spreading. Symptoms include:

  • intense itching, especially at night
  • a raised rash or spots

The spots may look red. They are more difficult to see on dark skin, but you should be able to feel them. The scabies rash usually spreads across the whole body, apart from the head. Scabies is very infectious, but it can take up to 8 weeks for the rash to appear.

How to get treated

Scabies is not usually a serious condition, but it does need to be treated. A pharmacist will recommend a cream or lotion that you apply over your whole body. It's important to read the instructions carefully.

You'll need to repeat the treatment 1 week later, and everyone in your home needs to be treated at the same time, even if they do not have symptoms. Anyone you have had sexual contact with in the past 8 weeks should also be treated.

Stop scabies spreading

  • wash all bedding and clothing in the house at 50C or higher on the first day of treatment
  • put clothing that cannot be washed in a sealed bag for 3 days until the mites die
  • Don’t have sex or close physical contact until you have completed the full course of treatment
  • Don't share bedding, clothing or towels with someone with scabies

For more information, please visit the NHS website.

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