Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Crabs
(Pubic Lice)

Crabs Overview

"Crabs" is the common term for lice found in the pubic hair of humans. Crabs is a parasite infection medically known as Pediculosis pubis or pubic lice. Barely the size of a pinhead, lice are organisms that live only with the help of another organism, called a host. There are thousands of types of lice, some of which have developed an attraction to humans. The official name for the organism responsible for pubic lice is Pthirus pubis. Other lice that often infect humans are Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) and Pediculus humanus corporis (body lice). The term "crabs" seems to come from the microscopic appearance of the pubic louse. The pubic lice organisms are visible to the naked eye in affected areas. The lice are typically seen attached to hair in pubic areas, but may sometimes appear in other areas of the body where coarse hair is present (such as beard, chest, armpits, etc.).

The pubic louse is distinct morphologically (somewhat rounded with three pairs of legs on either side of the body from which it takes its descriptive name) from the head and body louse. The female lifespan is slightly shorter (three weeks), and she produces fewer eggs per day (three) than her counterparts. The eggs attach to the base of the pubic hair shaft for approximately six to eight days before hatching.

Picture of pubic louse (crab)

Picture of pubic louse (crab)

Next Page:
1
...

Must Read Articles Related to Crabs

Lice
Lice Lice infestation on the human body (also known as pediculosis) is very common. Itch is the main symptom of a lice infestation. Lice treatment involves using ant...learn more >>
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity ...learn more >>




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pediculosis »

Pediculosis (ie, louse infestation) dates back to prehistory. The oldest known fossils of louse eggs (ie, nits) are approximately 10,000 years old.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary