Crabs (Pubic Lice)

What is Crabs?

Tiny insects that live off human blood. Although they’re often found around the genitals, they can live in any part of the body with hair.

Crabs are usually transmitted via close contact with infected person including sex. It is commonly followed by various symptoms and side effects such as itching. If crabs have been diagnosed, patients need completing treatment course which involves insecticide creams and lotions which help to terminate the lice. In case infection was obtained after sex with your partner, you are also recommended to pass examination on other infections transmitted sexually.

Sex is not the only source of obtaining lice. Close body contact within unhealthy and poor sanitation conditions may also lead to the infection.

Cold climate and overcrowded areas can also be the source of crabs. Such infection is rather common in countries with high level of poverty and poor sanitation means. In case you want to avoid such health problem you are recommended to wash regularly and avoid wearing the same clothes all the time. That is why lice are common problem for homeless people.

How is crabs contracted?

Through sexual transmission, skin-to-skin contact or through clothing, bedding and toilet seat harboring the insects.

Contracting lice can be divided into two main classifications. They include public lice and body lice. Every type of lice can be contracted in several ways.

Pubic lice can be passed from one person to another after close contact. The most common way is having sex with infected person.

At the same time there are several non-sexual ways to catch lice. Various physical contacts may also be the reason of infection. They include kissing with a person who has lice in his beard, for example.

Pay attention that public lice can attach strongly to your hair. It will be quite hard to wash them out using common methods. They will not fall out by themselves. The fact that crabs call for their host to feed from, you are very unlikely to obtain lice from clothes, shared towels, bed lined or toilet seats.

Body lice can be caught after close contact with another person who already has this infection. The most spread way is sex. Body lice can be found in hair and clothes of homeless people or citizens of developing countries with poor sanitation facilities and conditions. That is why you are recommended avoiding contacts with such people in case you do not want to catch the infection.

Incubation Period

As long as a week if it’s the first time you’ve had pubic lice; as little as a day if this is a recurrence.

Symptoms of Crabs

Itching in the genital area or any other part of the body with hair.

Lice symptoms can also be divided into two types according to classification of crabs.

Public lice symptoms are the following:

  • itching (it is a general symptom for all types of lice. It usually occurs around infected areas and in hair region. Note that it may start several weeks after you caught crabs. Itching usually starts at night when lice feed);
  • red “bumps” on skin and area covered with hair;
  • blue spots on skin;
  • irritation and scratching;
  • rash;
  • eyes’ inflammation in case you have your eyelashes infected;
  • brown spots on underwear;

Some people may not even notice that they have lice. This is due to the fact that they simply do not have abovementioned symptoms. Nevertheless, they can still transmit crabs to other people.

Body lice symptoms include itching in various areas including armpits, trunk or the groins. This is due to the fact that body lice mainly live in your clothing during the day and get to your skin at night to feed.

Testing for Crabs (STD)

Pubic lice are very small, whitish-gray parasites that look like crabs. You’ll be able to see the insects or their eggs (which are pearl-colored and oval-shaped) in your hair. You may notice that the skin under your hair is red and scaly, or there may be small blue spots — signs of lice bites. If you’re unsure whether or not you have lice, see your doctor.

Crabs Treatment

Lice treatment depends on the infected area. Patients are prescribed insecticide formula which is used for the body. Such formula is aimed on terminating lice. Please note that you need to treat not only the infected area but the whole body in order to get rid of infection. The most efficient way is to treat the body at least twice a day within a week. If you do not feel positive results, you can repeat the treatment course. Avoid getting insecticide substances into your eyes.

Malathion lotion is one of the most popular insecticide treatments which proved to be quite efficient. It has several advantages in comparison to other remedies available on the market. It is easy to use and works efficiently if applied in a proper way. Here are several useful tips that will make your treatment course as efficient as possible:

  • all people can apply malathion lotion without any exceptions;
  • Permethrin is not recommended for patients under 18;
  • One dosage includes 100 mg of lotion or 2-30 mg of cream;
  • Treat you whole body, not only infected area;
  • lotion or cream should stay on your body for the recommended time according to prescription. When it is over, you need to wash the lotion off thoroughly;
  • there is no need to shave infected areas which are covered with hair;
  • try to avoid getting lotion on your eyelashes or into eyes. If this area is infected you need to consult the doctor on the most appropriate treatment course for these parts of the body.

Over-the-counter lotions that contain the chemical permethrin such as Rid and Nix will help you get rid of lice. (Talk to your doctor before using any product that contains the lindane chemical, which can be toxic, especially for unborn children).

After washing with the lotion, use a fine-toothed comb to comb out the crabs and their eggs (called nits). Your sexual partner(s) must be treated as well, and all clothing or bedding that may be infested must be washed in very hot water or dry-cleaned. In some cases, clothing, towels, or bedding may need to be washed a few times before they’re completely lice-free.

If you are not treated

If you don’t seek treatment you’re likely to pass pubic lice on to any sexual partners, or anyone else you’re in close contact with.