Public Lice

By Mason Shu

What is the definition of pubic lice?

Pubic lice are tiny insects crawling from the pubic hair of one person to the pubic hair of another person during sexual intercourse. Also known as "crabs"

How is pubic lice transmitted?

Pubic lice is spread by
  • sexual intercourse
  • infested clothing, towels, and bedding

What are the signs and symptoms of pubic lice?

  • may see visible tiny tan to grayish-white insects crawling on pubic hair
  • Nits - louse eggs, tiny oval-shaped yellow to white blobs clinging to hair
  • bluish-grayish marks on thighs and pubic area from bites
Symptoms include:
  • intense itching

What is the treatment for pubic lice?

Treatment options include:
  • nit combs to remove eggs
  • A doctor or gynecologist may prescribe medication or use OTC medicine to remove the lice and their eggs
  • If the lice remain, you may need to repeat use or medication 7-10 days after previous use

What are the problems from pubic lice?

  • uncomfortable from itching
  • insects such blood from host
  • easy to transmit
  • female louse survives ~25-30 days and can lay 20-30 eggs
  • lice can live outside of the body for 1-2 days
  • can take forever to get rid of if not properly diagnosed and treated

How do you prevent pubic lice?

  • Abstinence
  • Properly killing lice and eggs by washing all bedding, towels, and clothing
  • Check with a partner you will have sex with
  • Check with any one you've had "done it" with for pubic lice
  • Condoms cannot help very much, as they do not cover the entire pubic area