Pubic Lice – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Suffering from an intense itching in your pubic region that simply refuses to die down? You may be having Pubic Lice. Read on and know what is Pubic Lice, what causes Pubic Lice, what are the symptoms of Pubic Lice and more.

Pubic Lice Definition

pubic lice crabs
Picture 1 – Difference between Body Lice and Pubic Lice
Source – missouri

Pubic Lice is a disease that affects hair, especially of the pubic region – the area of the body that is just above the genitals. The term “Pubic Lice” actually refers to lice, the bloodsucking parasites that infest the pubic region. The Pubic Lice can also be found in other hairy areas of the body such as eyebrows and armpit.

Pubic Lice Description

Pubic Lice are small creatures with six legs that infect and lay eggs on the pubic area of the body. The six-legged Pubic Lice are also known as ‘Pubic Lice crabs’ or simply ‘crabs’ because of their appearance.

Symptoms of Pubic Lice

The main Pubic Lice symptoms are :

Itchiness

Sufferers of this disease typically experience an itchy sensation in their pubic region. The itchiness usually gets worse at night and affects sleep. It is one of the main Pubic Lice effects.

Skin Color Change

The color of the skin in the pubic region may also change and become bluish-gray in appearance.

Sores

Affected people may also suffer from sores in the pubic area due to the lice infection.

Pubic Hair Eggs

The affected area is also infested with tiny eggs laid by the lice. Pubic Lice eggs or nits are grayish-white in color and stick to the hair shaft in the pubic region.

Pubic Lice Causes

Pubic Lice is actually caused due to an infection by a group of lice named ‘Phthirus pubis’. Phthirus pubis lice are commonly known as Pubic Lice. It is one of the three main types of lice affecting humans, the other two being Head Lice or ‘Pediculus humanus capitis’ and Body Lice or ‘Pediculus humanus corporis’.

pictures of pubic lice
Picture 2 – Pubic Lice Image
Source - okstate

The disease is caused when the Phthirus pubis lice is transmitted from one person to another. Pubic Lice transmission occurs during sexual activity with an infected person or by sharing clothes or bed with that individual.

People who are sexually very active and have multiple sexual partners are particularly vulnerable to this disorder.

Pubic Lice Diagnosis

This condition can be diagnosed by physical observation as well as microscopic examination. A naked eye observation is enough to reveal the presence of oval, grayish-white lice eggs attached to hair over the pubic region. Redness and scratch marks on the area can be signs of a contagious Impetigo infection.

In some cases, samples of pubic hair are observed under microscope. This is usually done to detect adult lice.

Pubic Lice disease in the eyes can result in a type of eye infection known as Blepharitis. This is particularly true in case of young children. Pubic Lice on eye is usually detected by examining the eyelashes with the aid of a high-powered magnifying glass.

Treatment for Pubic Lice

Pubic Lice untreated can lead to quite serious and discomforting symptoms. The common ways adapted for Pubic Lice treatment include :

Prescription Wash

Pubic Lice can be treated by washing the pubic region with a prescription wash like Kwell or Elimite. These work well as Pubic Lice remedies.

Shampoo Wash

In Pubic Lice Treatment Shampoo washes work really great. Thoroughly rub the region with a good Pubic Lice shampoo, leave it to work for five minutes and then wash it away. Pyrethrin or Permethrin Lice shampoos are great for curing the condition.

Over The Counter Drugs

In Pubic Lice Treatment over the counter medicines like Nix. Malathione lotion and Rid can be used. These Pubic Lice lotions are found to be quite effective in treating itchiness resulting from the infection.

Ointments

Pubic Lice eyelashes can be treated using Petroleum Jelly, Phenothrin, Carbaryl or Malathoin. These work great as pubic lice remedy.

Pubic Lice Natural Treatment

Here are some natural methods that you can use for Pubic Lice cure. These help in Pubic Lice removal.

Comb the Pubic Hair

Comb the hair in the pubic area with a comb having fine tooth. Even gentle combing will help remove the eggs. Do this when your hair is dry. Apply a little vinegar to the pubic hair before combing. It is one of the best Pubic Lice home treatments.

Wash Clothes Thoroughly

Wash all your clothes and undergarments in hot water. Apply medicated spray over all items that you use and which cannot be washed. This will kill pubic lice present in these objects and prevent further transmission of the disorder.

Can Pubic Lice Be Cured?

With effective treatment, Pubic Lice can easily be cured. The condition usually takes just a few days to go away.

Pubic Lice Prevention

Pubic Lice can be prevented by following good hygiene. Avoid using towels, clothes and undergarments of other people. Pubic Lice on women often arises due to trying swimsuits in shops. You should keep your underwear on while doing this. This will prevent transmission of the disorder.

If you are sexually active and have one or more partners, practice safe sex to avoid getting lice. If your sexual partner is infected, avoid sexual contact until he or she recovers.

Pubic Lice Health Risks

What happens if pubic lice goes untreated? This is a common worry for sufferers of this disorder. Pubic Lice left untreated can cause complications that can range from mild to severe. As this disease causes itchiness, affected people are forced to scratch their pubic area. Constant digging and scratching chafes the area, makes it raw and can give rise to secondary infections.

Itchiness can also be a sign of some sexually transmitted disease. It is important that you check yourself well by an experienced professional during diagnosis to rule out any STD.

Pubic Lice Pictures

Want to know how Pubic Lice look like? Here are some useful pubic lice images to help you out. Check out these Pubic Lice Photos and get an idea about the appearance of the condition.

photos of pubic lice
Picture 3 - Pubic Lice Photo
Source – livingwithbugs

images of pubic lice
Picture 4 – Pubic Lice Image
Source - bookdrum

Pubic Lice disease is a highly discomforting condition. If pubic lice home remedies and over-the-counter medications fail to bring about any improvement, you should visit a doctor. Early treatment by a medical expert will help you make a faster recovery and avoid further irritations.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001844/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pubic_lice

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000841.htm

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-get-rid-of-pubic-lice.htm

Published on March 31st 2011 by  under Sexual Health.
Article was last reviewed on 2nd September 2011.

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