Pubic Lice Or Genital Crabs: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Treatments And Prevention

Pubic Lice Or Genital Crabs: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Treatments And Prevention

Pubic Lice Or Genital Crabs: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Treatments And Prevention

Pubic lice, also known as Pthirus pubis (crab louse), is one of the three varieties of pediculosis or louse infestation (head lice. body lice and pubic lice) that affects millions of individuals around the world every year, and has been recorded in almost all countries and socioeconomic classes.

Pubic lice are little parasitic insects that live in the vaginal area. They are referred to as crabs, as they resemble a crab's body. Studies say that sexual activity is the most prevalent way to contract pubic lice.

In this article, we will discuss pubic lice. Take a look.

Causes Of Pubic Lice

During earlier decades, there have been reports of outbreaks of carbs, says a study. The infestation of pubic lice is less frequent when compared to head lice and body lice, however, it does play an important role in causing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Pubic lice are usually spread by close contact, including sexual activity. Using the blankets, towels, sheets, or clothing of people who have pubic lice can potentially lead to infection.

Adult lice lay their eggs (known as nits) near the epidermis on the hair shaft. The nits hatch into nymphs and begin feeding on the blood seven to ten days later. The lice can survive for one to two days without eating.

Getting pubic lice from a toilet seat or furniture is quite unusual. They do not normally fall off from the affected areas. Pubic lice can also be detected in the brows or eyelashes of youngsters and is a symptom of sexual abuse. Children who share a bed with someone who has pubic lice may develop an infestation.

Symptoms Of Pubic Lice

The primary symptom of pubic lice is severe itching in the vaginal region. If an individual has pubic lice, chances are they may spread to other parts of the body with coarse hair. It includes legs, chest, armpits, beard and eyebrows.

Other symptoms of pubic lice may include:

  • Mild fever
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Pale blue spots near the infested area.

Complications Of Pubic Lice

According to the CDC, pubic lice do not transmit diseases, however, some complications may arise due to severe scratching of the skin, leading to secondary bacterial infection.

Diagnosis Of Pubic Lice

Pubic lice are usually diagnosed by a thorough inspection of the genital area. This can be carried out by the patient themselves. If pubic lice is suspected, seek medical help immediately is needed.

Lice are normally light grey in colour, but they can darken after consuming your blood. Therefore, if one sees small crab-shaped insects moving in the pubic hair, it's undoubtedly pubic lice.

The eggs or nits of the lice are also a sign of an infestation. The eggs are small and white, and they are frequently discovered near the roots of pubic or other body hair.

Clinically, sticky tape is used to pick up adult lice and is viewed under the microscope for confirmation.

Treatments Of Pubic Lice

Some of the treatment methods for pubic lice include:

  • Multiple topical pediculicides: It is considered to be a first-line treatment method. It includes agents like lotions and soaps such as pyrethroids and lindane. These medications help paralyse and suffocate the lice, however, they may not destroy eggs. The medications must be applied repeatedly for complete treatment.
  • Oral medications: it includes medications like ivermectin.

How To Prevent Pubic Lice

  • Apply the prescribed lotions or creams as instructed.
  • Try removing nits from the eyebrows by using a fine-toothed comb and washing hands later.
  • Avoid sharing personal belongings like towels.
  • Avoid sharing beds.
  • Wash the clothes and bed linens every week.
  • Avoid sexual contact if you suspect that your partner has pubic lice. Also, avoid if you have the condition.

To Conclude

Pubic lice are mainly infected through an unhygienic lifestyle, therefore, maintaining a proper hygienic environment can help reduce the severity of the condition.