Pubic lice is by no means a deadly condition. It is very treatable and can be contained rather quickly. Pubic lice sometimes referred to as crabs because of the look of the lice that resemble tiny crabs. Pubic lice can be contracted through close sexual contact, infected clothing or bedding or infected towels.
Pubic lice can affect any demographic group. Income, education and location do not affect the ability to contract pubic lice. Worldwide these parasites infect up to 10% of the human population at any given time. Some times throughout history they have reached epidemic proportions.
Public Lice Stats
1. Statistically speaking it is thought the transmission of pubic lice occurs at the highest rate during sexual activity some estimates put it as high as 80% of the cases are contracted from sexual contact. Most of the data collected about the transmission of lice is self reported and anecdotal information for obvious reasons.
2. In many other countries the incidence of pubic lice because of poor sanitation is such a common malady that it is not considered an STD but simply a fact of life. Pubic lice is often found as a component of other STD’s.
3. A recent study that looked at children in Nepal found that 7% had body lice with pubic lice as a component and 10% had head lice with pubic lice as a component. In most cases of pubic lice in Nepal they transmission agent was determined NOT to be sexual transmission but community hygiene practices instead.
4. In the UK in a study of men with STD’s other than pubic lice 1.7% were found to have pubic lice as well as the STD they were being treated for. So in this case there was a correlation between pubic lice and STD. Whether it is a STD or not largely depends on the cultural perception and the overall sanitation practices of the community.
5. The lowest incidence of pubic lice infestation occurs in the UK and Germany with population infestations being reported at less than 2% in the overall population. The highest reports of infestation comes from Asia with an overall infestation rate (including all countries) at about 6%. Better sanitation methods, public awareness and treatment options have reduced the overall infestation worldwide over the last 50 years.
A Constant Problem
The biggest threat of pubic lice is the infection that they can cause. They survive by latching on to their human host in the genitalia and sucking blood from the host. The transference of bacteria and viruses is possible between parasite and human host. In the US pubic lice is considered an STD (sexually transmitted disease) but is not a reportable STD.
All diagnosis is made by the visual evidence of the adult louse. Pubic lice is most certainly found on the pubic hairs but can also be found in the eyelashes, eyebrows and other body hair. The Pubic lice is a very lazy parasite. Typically it attaches to the pubic hair and stays put. It will reproduce, lay its eggs and never leave the pubic region.
Pubic lice is one of the highest rated parasite problems around the globe and accounts for roughly 49% of all parasite infections globally. There is evidence as old as 10,000 years that indicates that pubic lice has been a part of the human condition for a long long time.
Pubic lice symptoms include itching, red patches and visual evidence of the lice. In some cases the evidence of infection is present with inflamed skin and pockets or postules of pus. If left untreated the infection can easily cause other illness including fever and spread of infection.
Getting rid of pubic lice is a matter of a simple lice killing solution that contains 1% of Permetherin. The solution is typically available in a shampoo or mouse. It can be purchased over the counter or by prescription. In some cases the treatment has to be completed more than once but most solutions recommend waiting 7 days in between treatment.
As part of the treatment all areas that the patient has come in contact with will need to be cleaned completely. All bedding, towels, clothing have to be washed in the hottest possible water and a dryer should be used to dry the clothing, towels and bedding.
Any items that the patient has come into contact that cannot be washed can be dry cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks. All nits (lice eggs) have to be removed for the treatment to be successful. Nits are NOT affected by the solution that kills the adult lice. They have to be combed or pulled out.
All sexual partners from the last 30 days need to be notified and treated. Sexual contact should be suspended until every partner has been successfully treated.