Pubic lice also called crabs are blood-sucking ectoparasites that infest the coarse human body hair like the pubic hair. They are called crabs because they have two large legs in front like crabs. They lay eggs in sacs that stick to the hair and make it pale brown color. The parasite has six legs and is often in a yellow-grey or dusky red color. It is majorly spread through close contact with infected individuals because they don’t jump or fly.
Pubic lice (Phthirus pubis) are 3mm long and can survive on the human body for only ten days. The male is about one-tenth the size of a female. The female pubic louse has a rounded abdomen and larger head with a rudimentary proboscis which it uses to feed on the host. The male louse has an elongated, narrow, flattened body with both sexes having six legs. The head of the pubic louse is about 0.4mm long; it is pointed and slightly more rotund than the females. It feeds by inserting its proboscis into hair follicles to suck blood (the life cycle of this parasite includes five distinct developmental stages).
How Can You Contract Pubic Lice?
Pubic lice are spread very easily from one person to another. They are small parasites that tend to lay eggs at the base of the pubic hair. The adult lice lay around 3-6 eggs a day and the eggs hatch within a week. If the eggs become loose through friction or by breaking off, they can easily end up on bedsheets, clothing, or towels. This allows the parasites to spread to other people. Therefore, You shouldn’t:
- You shouldn’t lie on the same bed with an individual who has the parasite.
- You shouldn’t have intimate contact like sexual intercourse with an infected individual.
- Don’t allow an infected person to pull off her clothing in your home because the eggs are spreading by doing so.
- Avoid objects that have been with or around someone who has the parasite.
Symptoms Associated With Pubic Lice Infestation.
These are the signs to watch out for if you suspect an infestation.
- Intense itching of the genital area and anus.
- Low-grade fever.
- Sores on the genitals or anus.
- Small bumps on the skin resulting from the egg-laying on top of your skin and causing irritation and swelling.
- Pale bite marks around the genital area- certain areas may be more affected than others due to how close they have been to the louse eggs. As these spots heal their appearance will change to a darker coloration.
- Drained energy.
If you are currently suffering from an infestation of pubic lice, don’t panic! There are many ways to effectively manage pubic lice infestation, including using an anti-itch product.
- Permethrin Lotions like RID, Nix, and A-200 are reliable.
- Mousse containing Pyrethrin and Piperonyl butoxide is effective for treating pubic lice.
- Ivermectin (Stromectol), is an oral two-pill dose. You can repeat medication after 14 days.
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