Pubic lice

What is pubic lice?

Also known as crabs, pubic lice can be found in hair on the body, though rarely the eyebrows and eyelashes. They are miniscule bloodsucking insects that are said to look like crabs, of which their eggs look like brown minute balls. They can be contracted through sex, two bodies coming close together and through contact with duvets and clothing. They feed on blood, and will typically last a maximum of 24 hours when not able to feed. They can crawl along hair, but are unable to fly or leap.

Symptoms of pubic lice

Symptoms will typically appear within three weeks. Pubic lice can be identified by their yellow-grey appearance or their brown eggs, though they are difficult to identify. Other symptoms include itchiness, pricks from bites on the skin, inflammation and a black powder substance sometimes found in underwear.

What treatment is available for pubic lice?

Testing will involve the identification of the pubic lice through simple and un-painful measures. Treatment includes the prescription of cream or shampoo, but lotion is often the best option. Treatment can take up to a week when repeated daily. All clothing and bed sheets will need to be cleaned, and if you are pregnant, then you should inform your GP.

If you leave it…

You will need to get treatment if you are to remove the pubic lice, or they will remain.


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