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Sexually Transmitted Infections » Pubic Lice

pubic lice

Other Infections

What are pubic lice?

pubic licePubic lice are similar to head lice, but only affect pubic hair, body hair and rarely, eyebrows and eyelashes. They are not found on the hair of the head. They are known as crab lice.

What are the symptoms?

You may not have any symptoms or you may feel itchy in the affected areas

How are pubic lice passed on?

They are passed from person to person by close body contact. However they can survive of the body for 24-48 hours.

How do I know if I have it?

Often you can see the crab lice on the hairs.

Where can I get treatment?

You can treat yourself with a lotion from the chemist. You do not have to be seen by a doctor. Bed linen and recently used clothing should be washed. Most treatments need to be applied again 7 days later. Your current sexual partner(s) should also be treated to prevent recurrence. You may wish to be tested for other STIs.

For further information contact the Sexual Health Services by:
Telephone: 03457023687
Email: dgsexualhealth@nhs.net
Drop in at your nearest C2U (under 20s only)

Will pubic lice come back?

Treatment is successful for most people. You may experience itching afterwards, but this doesn't necessarily mean the lice have come back. Do not use lotion more than the recommended amount and frequency. If your current sexual partners are not treated, it is likely you will be re-infected

Safer Sex

You cannot tell by looking at someone if they have a sexually transmitted infection, so if you are having sex (oral, anal or vaginal) the only way to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk is to practise safer sex. This means:

Condoms / Femidoms also protect you from other STIs including HIV. Always check the packaging for the British Standard kitemark or European product mark as well as the date of expiry.

Testing and treatment is available from:

  • General Practitioners
  • Sexual Health D&G, Nithbank, Dumfries.
    Daily drop-in Mon-Fri 9.00-11.00am
    Mon 4.30-6.00pm
  • Stranraer Community Hospital
    Every Monday 5.00 - 6.30pm
    Every Wednesday 10.30 - 11.30am
Tel: 0345 702 3687 for other appointments