Pubic Lice

OTHER NAMES

Crabs, Pediculosis pubis, cooties

ORGANISM

Louse: Phthirus pubis

TRANSMISSION

Pubic lice are passed by sexual contact with a person with pubic lice or contact with infested bedding, towels, and clothing.

INCUBATION

Eggs hatch after 3 to 14 days.

TYPICAL SYMPTOMS

People may have intense itching, blue or gray spots, lice (insects) or nits (eggs) in the pubic area, or tiny blood spots on underwear.

DIAGNOSIS

Nits and lice are observed on pubic hair.

TREATMENT

Pubic lice are cured with medicated creams, lotions, or shampoos that kill pubic lice. Bedding, towels, and clothing must be machine washed and dried using the heat cycle, dry cleaned or removed from body contact for at least 72 hours.

PREVENTION

Avoid skin to skin contact with individuals with scabies and infested bedding, towels, and clothing.

DANGER

None.

COMMENTS

Sex partners and household contacts should be treated at the same time to prevent getting lice again.

DSHS Publication Number 13-11905