Pubic Lice - Health Center

Pubic Lice

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Pubic Lice (Crabs) 

Pubic Lice which are also commonly known as Crabs are tiny insects which are found in the genital area of the affected person. This kind of louse is different from the head lice. Pubic Lice measure around 1.6 millimetres in length. The most common way of acquiring pubic lice is via sexual intercourse with an infected person. Amongst children, pubic lice can be caught via heavily infested parents who share a communal bed.

Pubic Lice feel on the blood of the infected person and their bites can cause extreme itching. The treatment option for this condition includes applying over the counter creams and lotions which can kill the parasites and their eggs. 

Causes of Pubic Lice (Crabs)

Pubic Lice is most commonly transmitted from one person to the other via sexual activity. Though it is very uncommon, Pubic Lice can also be transmitted via the use of contaminated sheets, blankets, towels or clothes. 

Signs and Symptoms of Pubic Lice (Crabs)

Intense itching in the genital region is one of the major signs of Crabs. However, since pubic live do not infest the scalp, they can spread to other areas of the body with coarse body hair such as:

  •       Legs
  •       Chest
  •       Armpits
  •       Beard and Moustache
  •       Eyelashes or eyebrows

It is recommended to seek medical help if over the counter medical products do not kill the lice. Also, if the scratching results in an infected skin abrasion, it is recommended to seek medical help. 

Treatment and Drugs of Pubic Lice (Crabs)

In case over the counter medications or lotions do not kill the Pubic Lice, the doctors prescribe the following medications and treatment options:

  1. Malathion: This prescription is applied to the affected regions and is washed off after 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Ivermectin: This medication is taken in a single dose of two pills along with another dose of the medication within 10 days if the initial treatment has proved to be ineffective.
  3. Lindane: Lindane is only prescribed when the other treatment options have failed. Lindane is applied to the affected region and is washed off after four minutes. This medication is not recommended for pregnant women or breast feeding women.
  4. Eye Treatments: If the Pubic Lice are also found in the eyelashes, they can be treated with the application of petroleum jelly over the eyelid three times a day. The lice and nits can be removed with the help of tweezers or a nit comb.

Lifestyle and Home Treatments for Pubic Lice (Crabs)

The following steps are used in order to eliminate lice infestations:

  1. Lotions and Shampoos: Over the counter lotions and shampoos such as Nix and Rid can be used in order to kill the lice. These medications need to be applied as per the instructions.
  2. Getting rid of contaminated items: It is recommended to wash or get rid of bedding, clothing or towels which have been used by the affected person. The contaminated items should be washed with hot, soapy water at 54 C and should be dried at a high temperature of at least 20 minutes.
  3. Dry cleaning the items: If an item cannot be washed, it can be dry-cleaned or can be sealed in an airtight bag for two weeks. 
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