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Pubic Lice 

Pubic Lice 

Lice

These lice burrow into the skin, usually around the pubic region or anywhere there is hair. They feed off blood and cause intense itching.

Pubic lice, or "crabs," are flat, millimeter- length nits that are contracted through close contact. They actually look like crabs under a magnifying glass but can be seen with the naked eye. These lice burrow into the skin, usually around the pubic region or anywhere there is hair. They feed off blood and cause intense itching. Patients usually present with reddish marks on their skin and excoriations secondary to nail marks from repetitive scratching. Sometimes eggs or whitish blebs can be seen attached to hair follicles. Typically, patients present with complaints of rash and intense itching in the region of the groin, armpits, and anal region. Lice can actually be picked off with fingers or removed with a comb. Doctors usually diagnose crabs with physical symptoms, and prescribe treatment with an application of permethrin that is put on from head to toe, avoiding the eyes, nose, and mouth region. The patient is instructed to sleep with the medication on and then rinse it off in the morning. All sheets, towels, and clothing need to be washed, and it is important that all close contacts be made aware and treated as well so as to avoid re-infection.

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