Crabs (Pubic Lice)

Pubic Lice, also called Crabs, is caused by a small parasitic mite that lives in the pubic hair and feeds on blood. Yeah, not so fun. These little blood-suckers thrive in dark, warm places, making your pubic hair the perfect campground.

Millions of people get public lice every year. Crabs are spread through skin-to-skin contact. Condoms and barriers are not very effective at protecting against them because they live in the hair around the genitals (i.e. in places not covered by the barriers).

The symptoms of crabs are pretty difficult to confuse with another STD: severe and persistent itching in the genital and pelvic area, as well as visual evidence of lice, egg sacs (called “nits), and bites. Some people report little blue marks where they were bitten. Some people may also experience a mild fever or feeling run-down or out of it. The onset is usually within a week of exposure. View photos of Pubic Lice here.

Luckily, crabs are curable and easily treatable with lotions and shampoos that can gotten from a doctor or pharmacy. Some common over-the-counter treatments are A-200, RID, and Nix. It is important to minimize scratching and then touching another part of the body because that could spread the crabs to wherever else you have body hair. It is also important that you wash anything (like dirty towels, ben linens, clothing, etc.) that may have been in contact with the crabs. Run everything through the dryer too, as the heat will kill them. If you don’t have access to a dryer, put your garments in a sealed plastic bag for a couple of weeks. Any partner that was exposed to crabs may also need treatment.

To find a location to get tested for bacterial vaginosis visit our resources page, or Google test centers in your area.

***This is a blog and the information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, nor is it meant to take the place of your personal physician’s advice.***

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