Pubic lice are tiny parasites that look like crabs and cling to the hairs on the human body. Thus, they can be found in the pubic region, around the anus, in the armpits, on the chest, and in facial hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. They can survive for 24 hours outside the human body. They’re also called “crab lice” or “crabs.”
- during sexual contact
- by direct contact (skin to skin) with an infected person (for example, during sports, dancing)
- by indirect contact with contaminated objects (for example, sheets, towels, clothing, toilet seats, personal hygiene items, etc.)
Having had pubic lice once doesn’t prevent you from catching them again.
Pubic lice cause intense itching in the hair-covered regions of the body. They can also cause inflammation and irritation in the affected areas. Pubic louse bites leave bluish marks on the skin.
Screening and treatment 🔍
Screening is done during a medical examination. Pubic lice may be visible to the naked eye.
Pubic lice are generally treated with specialized lotions sold over the counter in drugstores. It’s important to repeat the treatment 7 days after the first treatment to eliminate all the lice. It’s also important to wash all clothing and linen that has been in direct contact with the infected person. Sexual partners and all other people living with the infected person must be treated at the same time. Shaving the affected area is not an effective treatment.
To avoid spreading pubic lice, infected people must avoid physical contact with others throughout the treatment. They must also avoid sharing their clothing, towels, or personal hygiene items.