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What are the Best Pubic Lice Treatments?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pubic lice, popularly referred to as crabs, are small parasitic insects that typically lay eggs in the pubic hair and feed off the skin in the genital region of the body. Pubic lice are considered to be among the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Pubic lice treatments may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, lifestyle modifications, or precautionary or preventative measures. It is important to notify any recent sexual partners of the presence of pubic lice.

One of the first pubic lice treatments that is often recommended by doctors is to carefully trim the pubic hair as soon as the pubic lice have been spotted. This act alone will not completely get rid of the lice, but it will make other pubic lice treatments a bit easier. The eggs, also known as nits, typically attach themselves to the pubic hair, so by trimming the hair the number of nits can be reduced.

Over-the-counter pubic lice treatments are available at most drug stores and are often successful in getting rid of pubic lice. These products are available as shampoos or creams and should be used exactly as directed on the package. Some of these pubic lice treatments should not be used on the head of the penis or directly on the vagina, as this could cause skin irritation or a severe burning sensation.

If over-the-counter medications are not effective, several types of prescription pubic lice treatments are available. Extreme care should be taken when using these products because some of them can have toxic side effects. It is important to follow the doctor's instructions concerning the proper usage of these medications.

Once proper measures have been used to kill public lice, it is important to remove the eggs, or nits, before they have a chance to hatch and cause a reinfestation. Small combs known as nit combs are often included with shampoos and creams used to kill the lice. It may be easier to loosen the nits from the hair follicles by applying vinegar to the area before attempting to comb out the nits.

One of the most important yet frequently overlooked pubic lice treatments involves thoroughly washing all clothes, towels, and bedding in hot water. These items should then be dried on very high heat in order to make sure all of the lice have been killed. Any recent sexual partners should be notified so they can check themselves for pubic lice and begin treatment if necessary.

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