Every year, millions of people treat themselves for pubic lice. Pubic Lice is an STD caused by a small, light brown, flat, wingless insect called Phthirus pubis. It looks like a crab and so the STD is also called "crabs" or "cooties". This is because the insect has claws like a crab, which it uses to hold on to the pubic hair. The insect likes to feed on blood. Pubic lice occur when adult lice lay eggs, called nits, on the hair shaft close to the skin. The egg, which is white and shiny, requires 7 to 10 days to hatch. A typical infestation is by less than a dozen lice.
The main symptom of pubic lice is slight to severe itching. The itching is thought to be caused by an allergy to the bite of the louse. You may not always have itching. There may also be tiny dark brown spots on the skin or undergarments where they come in contact with the affected area.
Small red bumps in the pubic area may also appear.
There is an estimated 3 million new cases a year in the United States. Anyone can get it because it can be picked up from material things such as towels, washcloths, clothes, pillows, bed sheets, etc that the infected person comes in contact with. But, sexual contact is the most common way to get it so all those who are sexually active are at a much higher risk.
Lice may be treated easily with special creams, lotions or shampoos, which are available at a drugstore. Ask the pharmacist for help, and then follow the directions carefully. If you don't treat lice, you may get a skin infection that will require a visit to a doctor and you might transmit pubic lice to sexual...