Ahhh yes, pubic lice treatment. Yuck.
Pubic lice, commonly known as crabs, are highly contagious parasites most often spread through sexual contact.
Pubic lice are a type of body lice. These lice are wingless insects that are parasitic to humans. They attach themselves to human hosts and feed on human blood. Pubic lice are also called “crabs” because of their physical resemblance to a crab. These lice, or crabs, are attracted to coarse hairs on the body, usually hair found on the pubic regions of the body.
All lice are transmitted from person to person through close physical contact. Since crabs are found in the pubic areas and are easily transmitted through sexual contact, crabs are considered to be a sexually transmitted disease.
How Do You Know if You Have Crabs?
Crabs, and other body lice, feed on humans by inserting their mouthpieces into human skin. They then suck the blood. This can cause irritation due to an allergic reaction to the bites. This irritation causes itching, usually beginning a few days after the infestation occurs. Scratching often irritates or inflames the bites and can cause infection. The primary symptom of crabs is itching of the affected areas of the body. Crabs and their eggs, called nits, are visible, and the diagnosis of crabs is made by visual identification.
How Do You Get Crabs?
The most common way to get crabs is through sexual contact. This is skin-to-skin or hair-to-hair contact. Crabs can also be transmitted through contact with infected bedding or infected clothing. It is possible to contract crabs through contact from an infested piece of furniture, such as a couch, but it is extremely rare. Crabs, as with all lice, cannot live for very long away from a human host. They do not live even twenty-four hours on a chair or a toilet seat, so it would be very rare for infestation to occur from contact of that sort.
The treatment for crabs is much the same as the treatment for head or body lice. Medicine is applied to the affected area to kill the pubic lice and the eggs must be killed as well. It often takes more than one application of medication for the crabs to be completely killed. Sometimes, treatments are ineffective and you’ll need to try more than one. Prescription medications as well as over the counter medications are available.
Just as with head lice, you’ll need to treat the household as well as the infested person. All exposed clothing and bedding must be washed in very hot water, at least 130 degrees. All pillows and blankets that can’t be washed should be dry cleaned or bagged and kept sealed for two weeks, ensuring that all the crabs have died. Vacuuming the mattress is an important part of treating for crabs. You’ll need to do this several times to ensure you’ve gotten all the crabs.
Even after the pubic lice have been eliminated, itching in the pubic area may still occur.
This stems from the allergic reaction the bites can cause. You can treat this with hydrocortisone cream or other anti-itch medicines. Pubic lice can be an embarrassing problem. Finding a safe, effective solution is available.
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