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Health Information For Parents
Pubic lice are tiny insects (about the size of a pinhead). They usually live in hair in the pubic area, but also can live in the eyelashes, eyebrows, beard, armpit, and other body hair.
Pubic lice usually spread through sex. Less often, they spread by touching infested clothing, towels, and bedding.
Pubic lice are also called “crabs” because of the tiny claws they use to cling to hair.
Pubic lice usually cause itchiness. This can get worse at night when the lice become active.
Sometimes, lice bites can lead to skin redness and irritation. Lice in the eyelashes or eyebrows can cause eye irritation.
Most people with pubic lice got them through sex or close sexual contact.
Less often, someone can get pubic lice from sharing clothes, sheets, or towels with someone who has pubic lice.
Lice can’t jump from person to person. It is very unlikely that someone would get pubic lice from a toilet seat. Lice can’t live away from a warm body for long and they do not have feet that could hang on to a toilet seat.
A health care provider usually diagnoses pubic lice by looking at the insect. If needed, the insect can be sent to a lab for identification.
Anyone diagnosed with pubic lice needs to tell:
These people need to get checked for pubic lice and treated, if necessary.
Pubic lice are treated with medicine. The medicine kills the lice. The medicine may be a cream, lotion, or shampoo. Some are available at drugstores without a prescription.
Most treatments for pubic lice need to be used more than once. So it’s very important to follow the directions included with the medicine.
All clothes and bed sheets used by the person with pubic lice must be:
Because pubic lice usually spread during sex, not having sex is the best way to avoid them. Condoms do not protect someone from pubic lice because the lice live outside of the area that condoms cover.
Not sharing clothing, bedding, or towels also can help reduce the risk of getting pubic lice.
If your teen is diagnosed with pubic lice, it is important to talk about the risks of sex. Your teen needs reliable information about STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and unwanted pregnancy. Topics to cover:
If you don’t feel comfortable talking with your kids about STDs and other topics related to sex, make sure they can turn to someone else for accurate information. This could be a doctor or
, counselor, school nurse, teacher, or a trusted family member.
Abstinence is the only form of birth control that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Abstinence also protects people against STDs.
Pubic lice, or “crabs,” are tiny insects that usually spread through sex.
You’ve probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.
Answering kids’ questions about sex is a responsibility many parents dread. But by answering these questions honestly, parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex.
You’ve lived through 2 AM feedings, toddler temper tantrums, and the back-to-school blues. So why is the word “teenager” causing you so much anxiety?
Puberty was awkward enough when you were the one going through it. So how can you help your kids through all the changes?
Lice aren’t dangerous and they don’t spread disease, but they are contagious, annoying, and sometimes hard to get rid of. Learn more about this common childhood problem and how to get rid of those pesky little bugs.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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