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Signs and symptoms of pubic lice include itching in the genital area and or visible nits (lice eggs) or crawling lice.
It's unknown how many people have it. People who have other STDs are more likely to also have public lice.
Lice are insects that can be found on people's heads and bodies, including the pubic area. Human lice survive by feeding on human blood. Lice found on each area of the body are different from each other. Public lice are different from head lice.
Pubic lice typically are found attached to hair in the pubic area but sometimes are found on coarse hair elsewhere on the body, for example, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, mustache, chest, armpits, etc.
Pubic lice infestations are usually spread through any type of sexual contact, even without actually having sex, vaginal or anal. Simply sharing the bed of an infested person may transmit the lice to you. Dogs, cats, and other pets do not play a role in the transmission of human lice.
A common misconception is that pubic lice are spread easily by sitting on a toilet seat. This would be difficult because lice need a warm human body and they do not have feet designed to hold onto or walk on smooth surfaces such as toilet seats. Anyone with pubic lice should be tested for other STDs.
Pubic lice don't carry diseases, but you can get an infection from scratching your skin.
Anyone can get lice. The key is intimate or sexual contact with someone who is infested.
Know your partner! Avoid having sexual contact or sharing the bedding or clothing of anyone who has an infestation. If you are being treated, your partner should be also.
Avoiding alcohol and drug use may also help prevent transmission of pubic lice because these activities may lead to risky sexual behavior. It is important that sex partners talk to each other about their HIV status and history of other STDs so that preventive action can be taken.
Both over-the-counter and prescription medications are available for treatment of pubic lice infestations.
Last Updated On December, 18, 2010