What are pubic lice?

pubic licePubic lice have also been given the nickname of the “crabs”, “crab lice,” “pubic crabs”, or “crabs pubic lice.” They, like head lice and body lice, are parasitic insects which reside on the pubic or genitals of the human body. The medical term for pubic lice is Pthirus pubis. This type of problem is not manifested among one specific ethnic group or area of the world.

This article will explore the following topics:

What is the pubic lice life cycle?

The life cycle of a pubic louse is about 23 days from egg to mature adult. Pubic lice can only live for two days maximum outside the host because they are parasites and feed on the hosts blood.

What are the characteristics of pubic lice eggs?

Pubic lice come in three forms, the nit, the nymph, and the adult.

Nits are the initial eggs immediately before hatchlings come out. Six to ten days is the normal time frame it takes for nits to hatch. They are yellow in color.

The nymph is a smaller form of the adult pubic lice otherwise referred to as an immature louse. Two to three weeks is the typical time frame it takes for a nymph to mature into a full grown adult capable of laying its own eggs.

What do lice look like?

The adult louse gives the appearance of a miniature crab when being viewed through a magnifying glass or microscope. Hence, the nickname “crabs or crab lice.” They also have the characteristics of a crab with six legs and two claws very similar in structure to that of a crab. Color-wise they are tan the grayish white. Females, (that lay the nits), are larger than males and can lay between 30-90 eggs during their lifetime.

So do I have lice and what are the pubic lice symptoms?

Pubic lice symptoms include redness, inflammation, and itchiness in the groin or pubic area. You may also observe visible nits or crawling lice, however, they do not generally travel in great numbers. Lack of crawling lice could indicate a person is heavily infected with the nits or eggs before hatching.

You’ll also notice that they have a tendency to attach themselves to one hair follicle and their crawling speed is much slower than their counterparts, the head and body lice

How Do You Get Pubic Lice?

Adults are more prone to this problem (crabs lice) than children or teenagers. If pubic lice are found on children it could be the sign of child abuse or treatment, you should contact the authorities immediately. This problem can be transmitted similar to head lice and body lice through the infestation of garments, clothing, towels, and bed linens. Pubic lice are not transmitted through a dirty toilet seat because they would have been separated from the host and died from lack of nutrition.

As a general precaution, individuals infected with public lice should seek medical attention as they may also be a carrier for additional sexually transmitted diseases.

You may also enjoy reading the following articles about lice.

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Pubic lice pictures:

pubic lice