What Everybody Ought to Know About Pubic Lice

Understanding the Condition of Pubic Lice

Pubic lice (also known as crabs) are six legged creatures that primarily live in coarse hairy areas of the body, and are considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is spread through sexual intercourse.

While public lice are a common infection found worldwide, there are some facts that may not be so commonly known.

The Facts about Pubic Lice

Despite its commonality as a sexually transmitted disease, there is some information that needs to be emphasized about these little parasites.

  • Pubic lice are most commonly sexually transmitted through direct contact.
  • Pubic is not regulated to just the pubic hair region. These little crabs can also be found in other areas, such as leg hair, armpits, facial hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
  • Pubic lice activity is usually increases at night, becoming more active and digging into the base of pubic hair follicles to feed on blood.
  • Public lice can only live about one to two days without the warmth and food supply of a human host.
  • Scratching the inflamed area of a public lice infestation can cause the symptoms to spread, or initiate a second bacterial infection.
  • When lice are found on the head, this is not considered public lice. This is known as head lice
  • Public lice are a human infection. Animals do not get or spread pubic lice.
  • Good personal hygiene works as an effective preventative measure.
  • The best way to avoid contracting public lice is to either abstain from sex, or limit the amount of sexual partners.
  • Lice have been known to spread other diseases like typhus.
  • An estimated 3 million people with new cases of the infestation are treated each year in the United States.

Other Facts to Take Into Consideration

While some information on public lice can be easily found through research or through a doctor's council, there are some misconceptions that a person at potential risk may find surprising:

  • While pubic lice can be transferred to another person if the same clothing, towels, or bed sheets are shared, this is rare, as direct physical contact is usually involved.
  • Pubic lice can not be gotten from a toilet seat, as pubic lice feet are not designed for movement on smooth surfaces
  • Pubic lice are primarily found on adults. If symptoms of the condition are on a young child of teenager, it can be a sign of early sexual activity or sexual abuse.
  • While condoms are a good way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, public lice still present a threat, as condoms do not cover the area of the body that has pubic hair.
  • Initially, public lice often do not show symptoms, so a partner may have an infection without knowing it.

Check with a Doctor

Screenings and preventative treatments are the best way to ensure that pubic lice is recognized and treated until the symptoms disappear. If any close contacts or household members begin to exhibit symptoms, they should be treated as well.

Sources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000841.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/

http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/parasitic/pubic_lice.html

http://www.herpes-coldsores.com/std/pubic_lice.htm

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