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HealthInfo Canterbury

Pubic lice

Pubic lice (also called crabs) are tiny lice that live in pubic hair. They can cause itching and spots in the pubic hair area. You may be able to see them moving around.

Pubic lice are spread by close skin contact with an infected person and are treated with an insecticide cream you can get from a pharmacy or through a doctor.

You should regularly wash your underwear and bedsheets in hot water until treatment is successful.

Your partner will need treatment at the same time, even if they don’t have any itching.

If you're sexually active, it's a good idea to get tested for other sexually transmitted diseases at your GP, Sexual Health Centre, Family Planning Clinic or school clinic.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created February 2019.

Page reference: 285552

Review key: HISYP-53679