Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pubic Lice Crabs

Pubic Lice Crabs
By Scott Mogul

What are pubic lice crabs?
Pubic lice, often referred to as "crabs," are small six-legged parasitic insects. Although most often they are found in the genital area of humans, they can also be found in armpits, moustache, beard, eyebrows, or eyelashes. They are found all over the world, and infection is quite common.

Adult female lice lay eggs (called nits), which are attached to hair shafts. The eggs, which are oval shaped and yellow or white, hatch in about 7-10 days. Newly hatched louse are called nymphs. The nymphs mature into adult lice in about 7 days. Adults live for about 30 days, and feed on human blood. If a louse falls off and cannot feed, it will die within 1-2 days.

How are pubic lice crabs spread?
Pubic lice are generally sexually transmitted. They can also be transmitted through physical contact with a contaminated object, such as a toilet seat, sheet or pillow case. They are most often found in adolescents, but can affect anyone of any age.

What are the signs and symptoms?
• Itching, especially in the pubic hair region. The itching is usually worse at night.
• Eggs (nits) or actual adult lice are usually visible.
• Genital lesions can occur due to the bites.
• Lesions can become infected from excessive itching.

Prevention of pubic lice
You must avoid sexual activity with infected individuals. If you are sexually active, use a condom, and practice safe sex. Avoid trying on bathing suits when shopping, or wear your underwear under the bathing suit. Good personal hygiene is always helpful.

Pubic lice treatment
If you acquire pubic lice crabs, get treatment immediately. This will prevent others from contacting it from you. There are many over the counter treatments that are effective against lice. You can ask your pharmacist for specific recommendations.

All linens and clothing should be washed in hot water. All items that cannot be washed should be put in sealed plastic bags for 2 weeks and then opened outdoors. All members of the immediate family, and any other intimate contacts, should be examined for infestation.

Fortunately, pubic lice are easy to kill and eliminate. Usually one treatment will eliminate the problem.

About the Author
This article was written by Scott Mogul, editor for
Healthy Skin Guide . For additional information on pubic lice treatment visit Healthy Skin Guide.