Pubic Lice

What is it?

Pubic Lice, also known as crabs, are tiny blood-sucking insects. They live in coarse human body hair, most commonly pubic hair and cause itching and red spots.

Pubic lice can also be found in:

  • Eyelashes or eyebrows
  • Hair on the stomach or back
  • Facial hair such as beards or moustaches

What are the symptoms?

After coming into contact with pubic lice it can take one to three weeks to notice any itching or live lice and eggs.

Other symptoms are:

  • Dark brown or black powder on your skin or in your underwear (this is louse droppings)
  • Blue spots on your skin where the lice are living, particularly on your thighs and lower stomach (caused by bites from the lice)
  • Specks of blood in your underwear, if you have been scratching a lot
  • Nits (empty eggshells) that look like white oval dots attached to the base of your hairs

How do I get tested?

You can visit any one of our centres across the Walsall area.  Your healthcare professional will look for evidence of pubic lice.

Is there any -treatment?

Once diagnosed, pubic lice can be treated at home with insecticidal lotion or cream. You can get free treatment for pubic lice at any one of our centres across Walsall.

How can I prevent it?

Pubic lice are caught through close contact with someone who has them, such as having sex. You should avoid sexual contact with anyone who has pubic lice.

If you would like to know more about pubic lice, visit the NHS Choices website.

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