Crabs and scabies are two very common health problems.

Crabs are also called pubic lice and are tiny insects. Scabies are another sort of tiny insect .

Sign or symptoms

Are the same in both men and women, If you have crabs you may get:

  • These are the same in both men and women. Itching around your genitals (penis and vagina) and in your pubic hair (hair around the penis or vagina)
  • Tiny grey or white spots on your pubic hair. These are pubic lice eggs. You may also be able to see the crabs
  • Small spots of blood in your underwear.

If you have scabies you may get:

  • a rash made of tiny little spots. The rash can be on your hands, wrists, elbows, belly, bottom, genitals (penis or vagina), breasts or under your arms
  • very bad itching on any part of the body.

Sometimes people have crabs and scabies and do not know it. Sometimes people do not recognise the signs or symptoms.

Getting it

You can get crabs and scabies through close skin to skin contact with someone who has crabs or scabies.

Crabs and scabies are easy to get through having sex but you can get them in other ways

as well. Both men and women can get crabs and scabies. Crabs and scabies are easy to get rid of but you must get the right treatment.

Diagnosis & treatment

You can go to a sexual health clinic for a check up. You can ring for an appointment or sometimes drop in. At the clinic they can usually tell if you have crabs or scabies just by looking. They can give you some special lotion or shampoo to get rid of them. There is no need to shave off your pubic or other body hair.

Anyone you have had recent sexual contact with should also be checked and treated. Until treatment is completed, you can pass on pubic lice between you, so you should avoid any sexual contact with anyone during treatment.

Long-term effects

There are no long-term effects.

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