Pubic lice

What is pubic lice?

Pubic lice (also known as "crabs") are small insects which mainly attach to the pubic hair area but may move up to the chest hair, armpit hair and down the legs.

What are the symptoms?

They cause lots of  itching and you may notice the small crab like insects as black dots within the hairs or white eggs. Sometimes due to the itching, red lines appear.

We see less of these now as people are waxing and shaving.

How is it diagnosed?

We diagnosis this by looking and occasionally we may pick one of the insects off and look under the microscope at it - they are harmless.

What is the treatment?

Application of a lotion you can buy over the counter or get from the clinics - apply this to all infected areas of the body. The lotion has to be applied twice - a week apart.

Antihistamine tablets may help with itching.

Wash all clothes, towels and bedding at hottest temperature they will tolerate.

Sexual partners need treatment too.

Useful information

For more information on pubic lice visit the NHS website.

To make an appointment or for further advice, please call:

0300 303 1948

Phoneline open 08:15-16:45 Monday-Friday

(closed 12:30-13:30 for lunch)