Pubic lice are tiny insects that attach themselves to the skin and hair in the pubic area. It is also known as “crabs.” They are usually found in the genital area or pubic hair, but can be found on hair in the armpits, mustache, beard, eyebrows or eyelashes. You may have heard about lice found in the hair on your head. Those are a different type of lice, not pubic lice.
Pubic lice are usually spread through close sexual contact. This means through vaginal, oral and anal sex, but also close cuddling, touching and rubbing. Lice like to live on warm bodies and therefore cannot be spread from something like a toilet seat.
People do not usually get sypmtoms of public lice until having it for 5 or more days. Like other STDs, you may not know you have it. If you have symptoms, you may have itching in your genital area or you may see tiny bugs or egg sacs in your pubic hair.
Don’t worry! You can be treated for pubic lice. There are a number of treatments available including over-the-counter medicine or prescription medication. Make sure you speak to your doctor about what treatment is right for you.
Pubic lice can be easily spread, so the only way to reduce your risk is not having sex or limiting the number of people with whom you have close sexual contact. If you or any of your partners has pubic lice, don’t have sex again until you are treated.