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(Pubic Lice; Pediculosis Pubis)
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- Sexual contact with someone who has crab lice
Contact with contaminated items, such as:
- Itchiness that can range from mild to severe
- Tiny blue bumps on the skin
- Lice or eggs visible on hair
- Malathion—A prescription topical medication approved only for those older than 6 years of age.
Lindane—A prescription topical medication.
- Note: Lindane should only be prescribed to patients who are unable to take other medications or who have not responded to them. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s warning, lindane can rarely cause serious side effects, including seizure and death. Those especially susceptible are infants, the elderly, children and adults weighing under 110 lbs, and individuals with other skin conditions. It should also not be used in pregnant or lactating women or in people who have uncontrolled seizures. Lindane is a toxin and should not be overused. Patients are given small amounts (1-2 oz) of the shampoo or lotion and instructed to apply a very thin layer and not to reapply.
- Ivermectin—A medication given by mouth. It cannot be used in pregnant or lactating women.
- Limit sexual partners.
- Watch for signs of crabs, such as itching in the genital area.
- If you or someone in your house has had crabs, thoroughly wash and dry bedding, towels, and clothing.
- If you have had crabs, inform any sexual partners that they are at risk for crabs. Avoid sexual activity until partners have been treated.
- Reviewer: David Horn, MD
- Review Date: 05/2016
- Update Date: 05/28/2015