Pubic Lice which is also known as crabs is not necessarily a sexually transmitted disease. The lice are six-legged parasites that live and lay eggs in the pubic area.

Symptoms

It may take several weeks for you to find out that you have pubic lice, because it takes them a while to breed. The most obvious symptom is itching, which usually occurs at night.

Treatment

1. Buy Nix anti-lice creme rinse (permethrin). · Pour about 2 ounces of the creme into previously washed and towel-dried pubic hair. Add a little warm water to work up a lather. Be sure to work the creme into all the hair down to the roots. · Leave the Nix on for a full 20 minutes or it won’t kill all the lice (10 minutes is not enough). · Then rinse the hair thoroughly and dry it with a towel. Repeat the Nix treatment in 1 week to kill any nits that were missed.

2. Dead Nits: Wait 3 or more hours after Nix treatment is completed before removing the dead nits. (Reason: let Nix permeate the nits) The nits can be loosened using a mixture of half vinegar and half warm water. After wetting the hair with this solution, cover the hair with a towel for 30 minutes. Then remove the dead nits by backcombing with a fine-tooth comb or pull them out individually.

3. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding can be treated with products containing permethrin (e.g. NIX) according to the Centers for Disease Control.

4. Contagiousness: Pubic lice are very contagious. Pubic lice are transmitted by skin to skin contact during sexual intercourse (they cannot jump). You should have no sexual intercourse until 2 weeks after successful treatment.

5. Sexual Contacts: Any sexual partners that you have had during the last month will also need treatment, even if they don’t see any obvious lice.

6. Expected Course: With 2 treatments, all lice and nits should be killed. A recurrence usually means that there has been another contact with an infected person; the shampoo wasn’t left on for 20 minutes; or the treatment wasn’t repeated in 7 days. There are no lasting problems from having lice and they do not carry other diseases. Even after successful treatment, itching of the pubic area may persist for 1-2 weeks.

7. Other Shampoos: If any of the pyrethrin anti-lice shampoos (A-200 Clear, R & C, Pronto or RID) are used, they must be applied to dry hair. Reapplication in 7 days to prevent re-infection is also required. Do not use these products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Transmission

The most common form of transmission is through sexual intercourse. It can also be transmitted through bed clothing and other clothing of the infected person.

Testing

Pubic lice is visable upon inspection.