Pubic Lice are insects shaped like tiny crabs. The female lays eggs (nits) on the base of hairs which hatch and the lice cling to the hairs. They live in body hair, mainly around the genital area, and feed on human blood.
How is it passed on?
- Close body contact
- Sharing clothing, towels or sleeping in the same bed as an infected person
- Severe itching
- Rash on genital area
- Visible eggs or lice on hairs
- Powdery black droppings in your underwear or bed
Lice can live up to 30 days on the human body and up to 24 hours on clothes or bed linen.
How is it tested?
- Physical examination for eggs or lice
Shaving the pubic hair will not remove all the lice as they can burrow into the hair follicles.
How is it treated?
- Special lotions available from your local pharmacy or doctor.
- Sexual partner/s need to be treated at the same time.
- Other household members will need to check themselves and be treated if needed.
- Clothes, towels and sheets need to be washed in hot water on the day of treatment.
How can I prevent getting it?
- Avoid sexual activity with infected partners.