What You Should Know About Pubic Lice
[Everyday Health, 1/24/19] What They Are | What They Look Like | Signs and Symptoms | Diagnosis | How It Spreads | Treatment
What Are Pubic Lice?
Similar to both head lice and body lice, pubic lice (also known as crabs or crab lice) are flat, wingless, parasitic insects that feed of off blood to survive. Pubic lice (Pthirus pubis) don’t fly or hop, and are primarily found in the pubic or genital area of humans. But at times, pubic lice have also taken up residence in other areas of coarse body hair, such as mustaches, beards, armpits, and eyebrows.
It’s important to note that pubic lice on the eyebrows or eyelashes of children may indicate sexual exposure or abuse. (1)
Although a nuisance, pubic lice are not known to transmit any diseases. (2)
What Do Pubic Lice Look Like?
Like other lice, pubic lice come in three stages: the egg (or nit), the nymph, and the adult louse. Pubic lice nits are oval and yellow to white in color. They’re very small and can be difficult to see, especially since they firmly attach to the shaft of pubic hair.
Pubic lice nits hatch into nymphs after about 6 to 10 days of gestation. The nymph is simply an immature louse, and while it looks like an adult pubic louse, it’s smaller and will take another two to three weeks to mature into adulthood.
Once fully grown, pubic lice are either tan or grayish-white in color, have six legs, and feed off of human blood. (1) Pubic lice grow to be about 1/16 inch (1.6 millimeters) or less, which is about the size of a pinhead. They’re often dubbed “crabs” because their two front legs have pincher claws that resemble the crustacean. ………..
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