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Conditions

Phthirus Pubis

A tasty specimen of a pubic louse (Photo courtesy of CDC)

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You can catch pubic lice through close body contact, such as during sex, because condoms – whilst offering effective protection from most STIs – cannot prevent infestations of lice (or ‘crabs’ as they’re otherwise known). Thankfully, the crabs we’re talking about aren’t sizeable crustaceans with nipping claws, but tiny grey-brown insects, about 2mm long, that live by sucking blood from the skin. You’ll find them living mainly in the places you’d expect, such as in the coarse hair of your pubes or around your anus, but they can also live on the abdomen and the back, in the armpits, on the head, and on eyelashes and eyebrows. If you now feel like hitting the shower and scrubbing yourself vigorously, I’m afraid it won’t wash the lice away. But if you suspect you’ve got a circus of lice in your underwear, then you should consult your GP, who may prescribe you an insecticidal lotion or cream to treat yourself with.

If you’re suffering from any of the conditions featured on this site and want to apply for an onscreen consultation with one of the EB team then you can find more details here >>

Remember that you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

Comments and Questions

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

hi i'm 20 and I occasionally get an itch by my pubic hair mostly when its hot outside and sometimes there tends to be something pimple like all over, but only by my pubic hair....what is the cause of it.





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I'm 15 and have not been involvoed in any sexual contact. I have had a really itxhy pubic area for about a week and so i shaved it off to see if anything was amunderneath, it was slightly worse and there were a few red blood spots where i havd been scratching so much. The itching is still bad and i dont know whats causing it. Maybe i have a rash?





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My partner groin itches all the time... He hasn't got a fungal infection or STI or any other skin condtion.. I Think it's all in his head could I be right ? And it's become a habit and he think it's itchy and it isn't.. His sore and making him self bleed it's mainly on the creases in the groin





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So I'm 14 and I have had NO sexual contact with anyone. The most I've done is make out with my boyfriend but we always have clothes on. I've felt some really intense itchy feelings down below and I've noticed some whitish dots in the hair and on the skin. I'm thinking I might have gotten it from the towels I used at my aunt's house a little while ago? Because I had heard her talking about crabs/pubic lice. Do you guys think it's lice or not?





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I am a male an have itchineass and I dnt think its crabs! what else could it be as it looks like red spots an feels like somethings crawling but nothing there? any tips on how to get rid of this to ??





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I had sex and oral sex four weeks ago with a girl. I find my face and pubic area a bit itchy these days but I've no signs of crabs as. maybe I'm just imaging I caught crabs. how long would it take before I could be confident I did or did not catch them. thank you.





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Best way to kill crabs is use CAMPHO PHENIQUE ..... it is a cold sore treatment that can be purchased at a local pharmacy or even grocery stores. Have had a Bad case of the crabs in the past, and when I spread the campho on my 'junk' they were all dead within two hours TOPS. I would all follow up with the same treatment the next day as well as in another seven days. I swear this will work! Don't go to the doctor and have them loo at you like your a nasty trashy sex machine. Use campho phenique (about 3-4 dollars per tube) and BAM PROBLEM SOLVED. Like magic.





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For the last week i have been really itchy down below, i stared to realize it was getting more and more sore, i then stared to get bites on my thighs (look like flea bites)and i also got little hard lumps around gentle area, could this possibly be lice, if so hat can i get to treat it, someone help me please, its really effecting my lifestyle, help me please





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hi i think for best you should go to see your GpP

I am having a real itch down below and it's starting to spread . I don't know what it is as it has been recurring over the years.





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about 2 weeks ago. I started itching down below.. really intense itching .. Then wen going to the loo I fely like I was passing boiling water! Now after being on Trimethoprim its no better also got discharge .. really sore down there and cant sleep sit or walk cos of the pain.. Is it just Thrush ?





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