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Pediculosis Pubis Symptoms



Pediculosis Pubis Symptoms
Pediculosis pubis is a sexually transmitted infection, caused by ectoparasites called crabs (pubic lice). Constant itching that exacerbates at night is one of the reported pediculosis pubis symptoms. This ectoparasitic infection is treated by using medicated shampoos and creams.
Pediculosis is the medical term for lice infestation, which may occur in different parts of the body. Lice are groups of wingless, obligate ectoparasites, classified under the taxonomic order Phthiraptera. While head is the most common site for infestation, specific types of lice called crabs (pubic lice) attack the pubic region and the condition is called pediculosis pubis or phthiriasis pubis. The crabs are identified as insects that feed exclusively on blood and complete their life cycle in human hair. In addition to head and pubic lice, body louse infesting the body is also identified.

How to Identify Pediculosis Pubis Symptoms?

Pubic lice (Phthirus pubis) are named as crabs, owing to their enlarged appearance under the microscope. Although they can affect all sexually active people, the rate of occurrence is highest amongst teenagers. Both males and females are equally susceptible to infection by these skin parasites. The worst part with pediculosis pubis is, crabs (pubic lice) are transmittable from an infected person to another during sexual activity and via direct skin-to-skin contact. Sharing of towels, clothes, bedding and other personal items with an infected person can also spread crabs.

As per statistical data, this ectoparasitic infection is diagnosed in about 2 percent of the population. Based on the disease etiology, pediculosis pubis or crabs infection is classified as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Symptoms of pediculosis pubis may start soon after infection, or several days (up to 4 weeks) after infection takes place. Regarding identification of pediculosis pubis signs and symptoms, an individual infected with pubic lice will experience the following.
Intense itching or pruritus in the genital and perianal areas is a typical sign of pubic lice infestation. It usually aggravates during sleep, and itchiness is more in regions where pubic hairs are present.
Itchiness and burning sensation in the pubic-hair region results from the body's reactions to crab saliva. As with other ectoparasites, head louse injects saliva while biting and feeding on blood.
Noticeable wheals, excoriation and papules are present on the bite sites. Also, the infected areas usually have open sores and lesions. Scratching in the itchy areas may lead to development of other infections.
A symptom that indicates biting by pubic lice is the presence of discolored sores (maculae ceruleae), which are bluish-gray or blue. In severe cases, crab infestation gives off a foul smell in the infested area.
In order to confirm pediculosis pubis symptoms, look for presence of flat, light-brown adult lice and eggs at the roots of pubic hair. Both adults and eggs (nits) are visible to naked eyes. Nits laid by the female pubic louse hatch within 6 - 8 days.
Those who have multiple sexual partners are more prone to this parasitic infection than others. So, are there any pediculosis pubis complications? With pubic lice infestation, there is no severe medical complication as such. The only concern is, constant scratching over the infected areas, leaving open skin sores and increasing risks for secondary infections. This can be minimized by treating lice infections in the early stages. On the better side, STD crabs infection responds well to treatment and personal care. Learn more on STD symptoms in women.

How to Treat Pediculosis Pubis?

People having suspected symptoms of crabs infection should avoid close contact with others until the condition is diagnosed and treated promptly. For crabs diagnosis, suspected pediculosis pubis symptoms are examined carefully. Once confirmed, the doctor may recommend topical formulations containing permethrin for both partners. This topical cream is to be applied at night and rinsed the next morning. In addition, shampoos are available with the same chemical ingredients. To fetch prompt results, always keep the genital area clean, and follow the instructions for using creams and shampoos religiously.

Use of medicated creams or shampoos should be continued after 7 - 14 days for pediculosis pubis treatment. This is to make sure that the recently hatched lice are exterminated too. Besides this, adopting good personal hygiene tips is necessary to address pubic lice infestations. Bedding, linens, undergarments should be washed with hot water, and dried properly to kill the lice. And for preventing pediculosis pubis, avoid sharing clothing with an infected person and also, don't try on swimsuits of others. Simple tips like these will surely help in preventing spread of pubic lice.