Pediculosis pubis or pubic lice and also called crab lice or crabs are parasitic insets found primarily in the pubic or genital area of humans. Pubic lice infestation is found worldwide and occurs in all races, ethnic groups, and levels of society. But mind you, animals do not get or spread pubic lice.
The signs and symptoms of pubic lice include: itching in the genital area and visible nits or crawling lice.
Pubic lice come in three forms: the egg which is also called a nit; the nymph, an immature louse the hatches from the nit; and the adult that resembles a miniature crab when viewed through a strong magnifying glass. The nymph and the adult must feed on blood to live. If the louse falls off a person, it dies within a day or two.
Lice found on the head are generally head lice and not pubic lice. Crabs are usually found in the genital area on pubic hair; but they may occasionally be found on other coarse body hair, such as hair on the legs, armpits, mustache, beard, eyebrows, or eyelashes.
Pubic lice usually are spread through sexual contact and are most common in adults. Pubic lice found on children may be a sign of sexual exposure or abuse. Occasionally, pubic lice may be spread by close personal contact or contact with articles such as clothing, bed linens, or towels that have been used by an infested person. A common misunderstanding is that pubic lice are spread easily by sitting on a toilet seat. This would be extremely rare because lice cannot live long away from a warm human body and they do not have feet designed to hold onto or walk on smooth surfaces such as toilet seats.
A lice-killing lotion containing 1% permethrin or a mousse containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide can be used to treat pubic lice. These products are available over-the-counter without a prescription at a local drug store or pharmacy. These medications are safe and effective when used exactly according to the instructions in the package or on the label. Also, be careful when using medications on eyebrows or eyelashes. Consult a health a health care provider.
As for shaving the pubic hair, it has its drawbacks. A pubic louse also can lay its eggs in the hair at your anus, buttocks, thighs and stomach, areas you could easily overlook while shaving. It only takes one remaining hair with one egg on it to start a re-infestation.
To kill lice or nits remaining on clothing, towels, or bedding, machine-wash and machine-dry those items that the infested person used during the 2-3 days before treatment. Use hot water. Items that cannot be laundered can be dry-cleaned or stored in a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks. All sex partners from within the previous month should be informed that they are at risk for infestation and should be treated.
--- Photo from the Internet