Can I Spread Scabies As an STD?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2018
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It is possible for you to spread scabies as an STD. In fact, spreading mites by sexual contact is one of the most common ways that people contract scabies. Mites can also spread by sharing infested clothing, bedding and towels. Many are not aware of the symptoms of a mite infestation and, therefore, spread scabies as an STD without even knowing they are doing so.

Scabies is characterized by an infestation of tiny mites that burrow beneath the skin’s surface and lay eggs. The symptoms of this infestation include red bumps at the infestation site, scaly skin and itchy crusty skin. Often, people assume that these symptoms are simply a skin rash or some other skin condition and do not realize how contagious they really are.

Although scabies does classify as a sexually transmitted disease, it can also be transmitted via nonsexual contact. Often this is a result of wearing the clothing of a person infected with scabies or coming in contact with sheets or blankets an infected person has slept on. A person may have scabies for years and it can spread to various locations on the body if not effectively treated.


Spreading scabies as an STD occurs through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infested person. Even when a condom is worn, an individual may still be able to contract scabies as an STD since mites are known to bury themselves in skin surfaces that aren’t covered by a condom. The only way to avoid contracting scabies as an STD is to avoid all physical contact with a person known to have an infestation or who is exhibiting symptoms of an infestation.

It is entirely possible for you to spread scabies as an STD before you are aware of an infestation. This is because the initial symptoms of scabies sometimes do not appear for close to two months after being infected. Having sexual contact with another person during this time may very easily result in its spread. If you have been infested before, it is still possible to spread scabies as an STD for a period of time before symptoms appear, but the first symptoms usually appear within a shorter time span of only a few days after re-infection.

You can help stop the spread of scabies as an STD by recognizing the early symptoms of a mite infestation and seeking treatment right away if you are infested. Experts recommend that anyone experiencing dry scaly skin, a red skin rash and severe itching, especially at night, avoid all physical contact with others. Doctors generally prescribe scabicide creams, ointments and lotions to the infested person, but experts also recommend that others who have come in sexual or nonsexual contact with an infested person also seek treatment.



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