Pubic lice; It is a type of lice that can live in the coarse hairs of the body such as pubic, armpits, legs, back and is much smaller than normal head lice. Its appearance resembles a crab. You can find more information below.

What is pubic lice?

Pubic lice are small insects that live in the coarse hairs of the human body. In addition to being found in pubic hair, it is sometimes seen in armpits, legs, chest, abdomen, back, beard, mustache, and very rarely on eyelashes and eyebrows. Unlike head lice, pubic lice do not live in scalp hair. Pubic lice are most commonly transmitted through sexual contact.

What do pubic lice look like?

Adult pubic lice are very small (2mm long) and not easy to see. They are yellow-gray or dark red in color and have 6 legs.

Pubic lice are also sometimes known abroad as tiny crab because they have 2 large front legs that look like the claws of a crab. These are used to hold the base of the bristles.

Lice lay their eggs firmly attached to the feathers and in sacs that are pale brownish in color. When the eggs hatch, the empty egg sacs are white.

Although pubic lice and nits are small and difficult to see, they can appear on coarse hair anywhere on your body (other than the hair on your head).

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What are the causes of pubic lice and how is it transmitted?

Pubic lice are not related to careless personal hygiene. They are usually spread through close bodily contact with a person infected with lice.

Lice are transmitted through hair-to-hair contact, but they cannot fly or jump. They need human blood to survive, so they are prone to human-to-human transmission through contact.

The most common way pubic lice are spread is through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. Using condoms and other protection methods will not protect you against these lice.

Other close body contact, such as hugging and kissing, can also spread lice. The spread of pubic lice by sharing clothes, towels and bedding is also possible, although much rarer.

What are the symptoms of pubic lice?

After pubic lice become infected, it can take several weeks for any symptoms to appear. Symptoms are the same for men and women and include:

  • Itching in the affected areas, especially at night
  • Inflammation and irritation from scratching
  • black powder in underwear
  • Blue spots or small spots of blood on your skin, such as your thighs or lower abdomen (due to lice bites)

Itching is the most common symptom of pubic lice and is an allergic reaction to lice saliva. Itching is usually worse at night because lice are most active at night.

When should you see a doctor?

If the lice are not on your eyelashes, a pharmacist can advise you on treatments. But going to a sexual health clinic or a hospital means you can also get tested for other STDs.

Pubic lice are usually easy to diagnose by examining the affected area. The doctor or nurse may use a magnifying glass to look for pale colored eggs or the lice themselves.

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Which doctor to go to for pubic lice?

If you suspect pubic lice, you should see a dermatologist (skin) doctor as soon as possible. The doctor can see the lice and their eggs with the naked eye or, if necessary, use a magnifying glass.

The diagnosis is absolutely certain if it detects pubic lice under the microscope. The dermatologist will also tell you which treatment makes sense in the event of an infestation.

How are pubic lice diagnosed?

Pubic lice are usually easy to diagnose. A doctor will examine you and use a magnifying glass to look for signs of lice or their eggs.

If you have pubic lice, you should also be tested for other STDs. Lice do not transmit HIV/AIDS or other STDs, but control is a good idea as a precaution.

It’s also important to tell people you live with, other people you’re in close contact with, and your recent sexual partner or friends to get checked out and treated. This is important to stop lice from passing and can prevent reinfection.

Have an STD test

If you have pubic lice transmitted through sexual contact, it is useful to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases ( STD test ). Although pubic lice do not cause any sexual disease, testing is always recommended as a precaution.

How is pubic lice treated?

How is pubic lice transmitted? Pubic lice can be treated at home with a lice remedy cream, lotion or shampoo. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you which treatment to use and how to use it. It is important to follow this advice.

Some treatments only need to be applied to the affected area, but sometimes the entire body needs to be treated, taking care to avoid the eyes. The treatment usually needs to be repeated after 7 days to get rid of the lice that have hatched during this time.

If treatment doesn’t work, you may need to use another method of treatment. This is because pubic lice can develop resistance to some treatments. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you on suitable alternatives.

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To prevent reinfestation, anyone you have had close physical contact with in the past 3 months, including sexual partners, should be treated, even if they don’t have symptoms.

Certain groups, such as teens under 18 and pregnant or breastfeeding women, may require a special type of treatment. You should consult your doctor or pharmacist for further advice on this.

Methods of getting rid of pubic lice

Natural treatments and ways to get rid of pubic lice that you can do at home include:

  • You can comb out dead lice from the affected hair areas with a lice comb.
  • To kill pubic lice with their eggs and larvae, you can wash your clothes at at least 60 degrees.
  • You can put these clothes in a sealed plastic bag for 14 days to suffocate the pubic lice.
  • You can get rid of the affected body hair.
  • A dilute vinegar solution can also help remove lice more easily.

If the eyelashes are affected , then a doctor’s opinion should definitely be sought. Because the eyelash is close to the eye, most of the things used in the body are not used and should not be used.

What are the complications of pubic lice?

Sometimes a pubic lice infestation can lead to minor complications such as skin or eye problems. Scratching can irritate your skin or lead to an infection such as impetigo (a bacterial skin infection) or a boil .

Eye infections such as conjunctivitis and eye inflammation such as blepharitis can sometimes develop if your eyelashes are infected with pubic lice.

You may also have a mild fever or feel tired and drained. If you have severe skin irritation or sore eyes that do not go away, you should seek medical attention immediately.

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