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Crabs or pubic lice - Pediculosis Pubis

These are 1-2mm flat tan coloured parasitic insects which live on the body hair of humans, primarily the pubic hair but they have been known to roam in armpit hair and eyebrows, they are not the same as head lice.

They feed by sucking blood and this leaves small spots which itch, they are usually transferred during sexual bodily contact although they are able to survive for short periods on clothes, bed linen and towels and can be transferred in this manner.
Each female pubic louse can lay 30 eggs or nits two to three per day, the eggs hatch after 10 days. If you have a lot of lice present on the body the infestation is immediately evident however if only one or two lice are present it would take up to a couple of weeks before symptoms appear.

Diagnosis and treatment:

Your doctor will be able to identify the lice and supply you with a prescription. Washing clothes and linens in hot water will eradicate the lice and lotions can be purchased from pharmacies which will kill off the parasites. Treatment may need to be repeated as sometimes some of the eggs or nits may have avoided the initial treatment.

It is advised that your sexual partner is informed and treated at the same time to avoid re infection.

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