STDs: Crabs & Pubic Lice Natural Alternative Treatments

  • Crabs, or pubic lice, are tiny insects that live in the pubic hair. Sometimes they can live in the armpits, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
  • Pubic lice are spread by close contact, usually sexual. They can also be transmitted through bedding or clothes.
  • These tiny bugs live off human blood. They feed by burrowing their heads in a hair follicle and sucking blood from their host.
  • They lay their eggs on the hair shaft. These eggs are called nits.
  • There are treatments available to kill these troublesome critters. The treatments usually come in the form of pesticide or insecticide shampoos.

Dangers of Pesticide Shampoos

Pesticide shampoos have been shown to possibly have the following side effects:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Stinging
  • Swelling

In very rare cases, it is thought that these pesticides may cause the following if used incorrectly:

  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Brain damage
  • Leukemia
  • Breast cancer
  • Bone marrow problems
  • Blood disorders
  • Parkinson's
  • Asthma
  • Death

Another concern relating to pesticides and insecticides is the possibility of resistance.

  • Over time, lice may become immune to the effects of these products.
  • Harsher and harsher chemicals may be needed to get rid of them.
  • For this reason, it is best to try alternate natural options to get rid of the lice before using harsh chemicals or pesticides.
  • The use of pesticides should be reserved only for the most stubborn cases that do not respond to several different natural treatments.

Natural treatments for pubic lice or crabs:

  • Nit comb
  • Tea tree oil, Vitamin E oil, or neem oil
  • After treatment, be sure to put on clean clothes and underwear.
  • You should also wash all bedding and clothing that you have come in contact with in hot soapy water and dry them in a hot dryer.
  • Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in airtight plastic bags for two weeks to ensure that all lice are suffocated.
  • Notify anyone to whom you might have transferred the lice so they can be treated.


Of course, it is easier to prevent pubic lice than get rid of them.

  • Avoid contact with people who have pubic lice.
  • Be sure you know your sexual partners" histories.
  • Carefully check the bedding and towels in hotels, youth hostels, and anywhere else you might sleep for lice, bedbugs, and other parasites. Look for feces and blood spots on the sheets.

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