Crabs (Pubic Lice)


Learn about Crabs and Lice

(curable with medication)

What are Crabs?

Also known as pediculosis pubis, crabs are parasites or bugs that live on the pubic hair in the genital area. These parasites are small, light brown, flat insects that cling to pubic hair. They suck blood for nourishment, and fix their eggs to the pubic hairs. When the crab lice suck the blood little red sores and itching occurs.

Infections with crabs is common and is found worldwide.

Crabs are also called public lice or crab lice. Animals do not get or spread pubic lice.

Crabs found in pubic hair are different from head lice. However, pubic crabs can also be found in beards, armpits on chest hair and eyelashes.

How are Crabs Transmitted?

Crabs are almost always spread by close physical contact or sexual activity. They can also be spread via clothes, brushes, towels, and linens that have been contaminated with crabs.

What are the Symptoms of Crabs?

* Itching in the genital region.
* Tiny crablike insects on the skin in the crotch area.
* Small dark specks, which are crab feces, on underwear.
* Eggs (nits) attached to the base of pubic hair.

Can Crabs be Treated?

Yes. Crabs must be treated. They prefer the pubic hair and will not go away without treatment.

There are many treatment options available. Your doctor will give you medication, shampoo and directions on how to treat yourself.

While treating lice, it is important to wash contaminated toilet seats, towels, clothes and bedding because once crabs are removed from the body, they can live for many hours on other items


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