Symptoms of Pubic lice
General information about symptoms of Pubic lice: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Pubic lice. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Pubic lice. Furthermore, symptoms of Pubic lice may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Pubic lice.
List of symptoms of Pubic lice: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Pubic lice includes:
- Pubic itching
- Pubic nits
- Red marks in pubic areas
- Hives in pubic areas
- Black specks on underwear
- Itching areas of hair
- Itching scalp hair
- Itching eyebrows
- Red marks in hairy areas
- Visible lice in hair
Symptoms of Pubic lice: Itching in the genital area. Nits (lice eggs) or crawling lice may be seen. 1
Pubic lice are generally found in the genital area on pubic hair; but may occasionally be found on other coarse body hair, such as hair on the legs, armpit, mustache, beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Infestations of young children are usually on the eyebrows or eyelashes. Lice found on the head are not pubic lice; they are head lice. 1
There are three stages in the life of a pubic louse: the nit, the nymph, and the adult.
Nit: Nits are pubic lice eggs. They are hard to see and are found firmly attached to the hair shaft.
They are about the size of the mark at the end of this arrow . They are oval and usually yellow to white. Nits take about 1 week to hatch.
Nymph: The nit hatches into a baby louse called a nymph. It looks like an adult pubic louse, but is smaller. Nymphs mature into adults about 7 days after hatching. To live, the nymph must feed on blood.
Adult: The adult pubic louse is about this size and resembles a miniature crab when viewed through a strong magnifying glass. Pubic lice have six legs, but their two front legs are very large and look like the pincher claws of a crab; this how they got the nickname "crabs." Pubic lice are tan to greyish-white in color. Females lay nits; they are usually larger than males. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood. If the louse falls off a person, it dies within 1-2 days.1
The primary symptom of infestation is itching in the pubic area. Scratching may spread the lice to other parts of the body; thus, every effort should be made to avoid touching the infected area, although this may be difficult.2
More symptoms of Pubic lice: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Pubic lice, underlying causes of Pubic lice, associated conditions for Pubic lice, risk factors for Pubic lice, or other related conditions.
Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:
1. excerpt from Pubic Lice or "Crabs": DPD
2. excerpt from Other Important STDS, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID
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- Risk Factor Center
- Medical Statistics Center
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