Pubic Lice - kypf: Sexual Health Advice

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Pubic Lice

What is it?

Pubic lice are small, crab-like insects which live in the pubic hair but can also be found in underarm and leg hair, hair on the chest, abdomen and back, facial hair such as beards and moustaches.

Getting public lice is not an indication of poor health hygiene. They can easily be passed on from person-to-person through sharing of bedding, clothing, and towels; and not just through sexual or body contact. They spread from hair to hair and are not able to jump or fly.

What are the Symptoms/Causes?

Once you come into contact with Public Lice, it can take several weeks before you see any signs or symptoms… or you may not even see any at all as they are tiny insects that are not always visible in the light. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced are:

  • Itching in the affected areas
  • Black powdery droppings from the lice in your underwear
  • Brown eggs on pubic or other body hair
  • Irritation and inflammation in the affected area, sometimes caused by scratching
  • Sky-blue spots (which disappear within a few days) or very tiny specks of blood on the skin

How do I get tested?

You can get tested at your local GUM clinic and the treatment is simple and something that can be done at home using a special lotion, cream or shampoo.

Alternatively, your doctor, practice nurse or the pharmacist will be able to advise you on the best treatment for you and explain how to use it.

It is important anyone you have had close body contact with, including your partner(s) and household members also get tested at the same time. If left untreated, the pubic lice can spread to eyelashes and eyebrows but this is very rare occurrence.

Contact your doctor, practice nurse or local GUM clinic if you would like further advice on Pubic Lice or would like to get tested.

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