Treatments for Pubic lice


Treatment list for Pubic lice: The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Pubic lice includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Avoid touching the area
  • Pubic lice shampoos
  • Pubic lice lotions
  • Lindane
  • Calamine - for soothing after treatment.
  • Treatment of sexual partner - as they may be infected also.
  • Washing of bedding and linen in hot water

Treatments of Pubic lice discussion: A 1% permethrin or pyrethrin lice shampoo, also called pediculicide peh-DICK-you-luh-side, is recommended to treat pubic lice. These products are available with out a prescription at your local drug store. Medication is generally very effective; apply the medication exactly as directed on the bottle. A prescription medication, called Lindane (1%) is available through your health care provider. Lindane is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women or for children less than 2 years old.

How to treat pubic lice infestations: (Note: see section below for treatment of eyelashes or eyebrows. The lice medications described in this section should not be used near the eyes.)

  1. Wash the infested area; towel dry.
  2. Thoroughly saturate hair with lice medication. If using permethrin or pyrethrins, leave medication on for 10 minutes; if using Lindane, shampoo should only be left on for 4 minutes. Thoroughly rinse off medication with water. Dry off with a clean towel.
  3. Following treatment, most nits will still be attached to hair shafts. Nits may be removed with fingernails.
  4. Put on clean underwear and clothing after treatment.
  5. To kill any lice and nits that may be left on clothing or bedding, machine wash those washable items that the infested person used during the 2-3 days before treatment. Use the hot water cycle (130o F) of the washing machine to wash clothes. Use the the hot cycle of the dryer for at least 20 minutes to dry clothes.
  6. Dry clean clothing that is not washable.
  7. Inform any sexual partners that they are at risk for infestation.
  8. Avoid any sexual partners until partners have been treated and infestation has been cured.
  9. Retreat in 7-10 days if lice are still found.

To treat nits and lice found on eyebrows or eyelashes:

If only a few nits are found, it may be possible to remove live lice and nits with your fingernails or a nit comb.

If additional treatment is needed for pubic lice nits found on the eyelashes, applying an ophthalmic- grade petrolatum ointment (only available by prescription) to the eyelids twice a day for 10 days is effective. Vaseline* is a kind of petrolatum, but is likely to irritate the eyes if applied.1

Lotions and shampoos that will kill pubic lice are available both over the counter and by prescription. Creams or lotions containing lindane, a powerful pesticide, are most frequently prescribed for the treatment of pubic lice. Pregnant women may be advised not to use this drug, and a physician's recommendations for use in infants and small children should be followed carefully. Itching may persist even after the lice have been eradicated. This is because the skin has been irritated and requires time to heal. A soothing lotion such as calamine may offer temporary relief.2

1. excerpt from Pubic Lice or "Crabs": DPD
2. excerpt from Other Important STDS, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID

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