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Crabs (cont.)

What Causes Crabs (Pubic Lice)?

  • The source of infection for pubic lice is intimate contact with an infected person. Therefore, pubic lice are often transmitted during sex.
  • Since transmission occurs during intimate contact, actual sexual intercourse is not necessary for the spread of pubic lice.
  • Pubic lice can also be transmitted by contact with contaminated belongings such as towels, bed sheets, or clothing.
  • Crabs are transmitted through any intimate contact. Lice do not jump or fly, so actual contact is necessary for transmission. An individual may acquire an infection by sharing bedding or towels.
  • Cats, dogs, and other pets are not involved in the spread of human lice. Your pet cannot become infested with human lice and transmit the lice to another person.

What Are the Symptoms of Crabs (Pubic Lice)?

Patient Comments

The main symptoms of infection with the pubic lice of crabs are itching and burning of the pubic area.

The itching may spread as the pubic lice move to other moist areas of the body such as the armpit.

For many people who have crabs the itching is worse at night.

Intense or prolonged scratching may lead to skin injuries that may become infected by bacteria.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Crabs (Pubic Lice):

Crabs (Pubic Lice) - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with crabs?

Crabs (Pubic Lice) - Treatment

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