The pubic lice need a medium to transfer from one body to another. The most common one is through sexual contact, commonly found in adults. The pubic lice, if discovered in a child, means that there has been sexual contact made and abuse. Using condoms or contraceptive methods doesn’t protect you from getting pubic lice. The other medium could be through clothing (trousers, jeans, etc.), towels, or bed linens of the infected person.

There is a misconception that pubic lice spread by sitting on a toilet seat. However, the chances of it are remarkably low and almost next to impossible as neither the crabs can stay away long from the warm human body nor are their feet designed to hold onto or walk on a smooth surface like that of a toilet seat.

Can you see pubic lice?

The pubic lice are tan to grayish-white, but their color darkens after sucking human blood. Female lice lay eggs, smaller than a pinhead, that hatches into lice after 7-10 days. It can be visible through the magnifying glass only.

Pubic lice symptoms

Pubic lice symptoms are discovered only after five days of infestation. Therefore, some may identify pubic lice symptoms with rash or other causes. However, these are the symptoms that could indicate pubic lice infestation:

  • Severe itching on the affected area results from the lice’s saliva that can worsen at night and crab bite.
  • Blood spots on groins and lower abdomen caused by lice bites.
  • Red bumps on the skin.
  • Feeling feverish, run-down, or irritable.
  • Dark or bluish spots indicate skin area infested by the crabs. These are also the result of the crab bites.
  • Note: Symptoms are the same for men and women. Few may not notice any symptoms but the lice or nits on their body or clothes.

Pubic lice treatment

Pubic lice treatment is possible with two insecticides: malathion and permethrin lotion. They are specially formulated to be used on the human body and are easy to apply and work well. Use 100 ml or 20 g/30 g of the lotion on average adult and apply it to the whole body. You should leave the malathion lotion for 12 hours and permethrin cream for 24 hours and then wash it off (those below 18 years should not use permethrin lotion). If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you must consult your doctor or pharmacist. After applying the cream, wear clean underwear or clothing and follow the process for seven days for better results.

Home remedies for pubic lice

It is always better to look for home remedies that are easy to prepare and more efficient.

Neem leaves

Take some neem leaves and add water to make a paste. Apply it liberally over the pubic area and leave it to dry. You can leave it overnight for the best results. The following day scrubs it off with a brush and washes it with lukewarm water. Repeat the process every morning and evening for a week. Neem leaves have antibacterial properties that can suffocate lice. Therefore, it is one of the most efficient ways to kill it.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly kills lice by suffocating them because of its lubricative nature. Apply it to the affected area and leave it on for hours. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times a day and clean it off using tea tree shampoo or dishwashing liquid.


Vinegar is highly acidic, which kills the lice on contact. Mix an equal amount of vinegar and water. Add a large cotton swab on the solution to the pubic area or any affected part. Leave it for 30 minutes. Remove the remaining nits and eggs by scrubbing the area with lemon juice, salt, sugar, and honey.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint has a cooling effect that irritates the lice. Apply the oil to the affected area. Leave it for 30 minutes, and use a nit comb to remove the remaining eggs. Repeat this process once a day.

Additional measures:

  • Wash any infected sheets, towels, bed linens, and other personal articles.
  • Improve your hygiene and clean your personal belongings from time to time.
  • Inform your sexual partner about the lice.
  • While undergoing treatment, ensure that your sexual partner is also treated to avoid further infestation.
  • Pubic lice are common problems, so don’t hesitate to visit a doctor for professional consultation.

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