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STD/STI - Crab Lice

Why didn't someone warn me about this?
image of regretAny sex act with another person could give you this infection!

Street Names for Crab Lice

"Crabs"

Facts about Crab Lice

image of crab liceThe pubic louse (lice):

  • May look like a tiny scab on skin or in pubic hairs.
  • Caused by the louse named Pediculosis pubis.
  • Symptoms (itching) appear about 5 days after exposed - itching in pubic and groin area is due to a reaction to bites of the louse that is sucking blood from your skin. Blue spots occur on the skin where the lice bites you.
  • The female louse lays eggs and glues them to your pubic hair. Eggs hatch within 5-10 days.

Transmission (how it spreads)

  • Sexual activity with another person can allow the lice to move to your body and make a home there.
  • Crab lice do not feed regularly and can live up to 24 hours away from a human host…like on a towel, a hat, or in clothing.
  • If you have a friend infected with crab lice and you use their clothing or towels, you may also become infested.
  • Animals do not get or spread pubic lice.
  • Head lice are different to crab lice.

Images

image of crab louseCrab louse. Note the crab-like claws that can grasp hairs to allow the louse to move up (to lay eggs) and down hair (to bite and feed).

image of crab louseCrab lice lay eggs and glue them to hair. These eggs are called “nits” and are difficult to remove. You may need a magnifying glass to see them.

Treatment

There are a number of medications, both prescription and non-prescription creams, that can be used to kill the lice.  Ask your doctor.  You will also have to wash or dry clean all your clothes, bed linens, and towels to ensure complete removal.  Dead nits and lice can be removed from your pubic hair and even eyebrows with a special fine-toothed comb.

Prevention

image of happy guy
  • Choose not to have sex - condoms offer no protection.
  • Don't share other people's clothing or towel

More information

image of doctorIf you have further questions or concerns about STDs, ask Dr. Mike, an internationally known Clinical Microbiologist specializing in STDs. He has worked extensively with teenage boys and contributed all the information on the STD pages. (Change the (at) to @ and the (dot) to . in the email address below)

jmm8 (at) comcast (dot) net

Tell Dr Mike how old you are, what country you are from and then write your message. You will be emailing a specialist offering his time to help young guys! Your email will be treated confidentially and erased after he answers you!

Get Answers!  Get Help!  Get Smart!

Take Responsibility for yourself!
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