Pubic Lice (Crabs)

What is it?

Pubic lice (crabs) are tiny parasites that live and breed in pubic hair. Head lice are different from pubic lice.

What are the symptoms?

Pubic lice are easily passed from one person to another via skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. It can take several weeks after coming into contact with pubic lice before symptoms appear, but they include:

  • Itching and inflammation of the affected areas
  • Black powder droppings from the lice in underwear
  • Brown eggs on pubic or other body hair

Can it be treated?

Yes, pubic lice can be easily treated with lotions and shampoos. Visit your GP or find your nearest sexual health clinic using our services page.

Can I prevent it?

You should avoid close contact within anyone known to be infected with pubic lice.


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