Pubic lice

Pediculosis - pubic lice; Lice - pubic; Crabs; Pediculosis pubis; Phthirus pubis

Pubic lice are tiny wingless insects that infect the pubic hair area and lay eggs there. These lice can also be found in armpit hair, eyebrows, moustache, beard, around the anus, and eyelashes (in children).

Crab louse, female

This is a photomicrograph of a female pubic louse. The condition known as crabs is so named because of the resemblance of a pubic louse to a crab. The bodies of pubic lice are shorter and rounder than those of head lice. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Pubic louse-male

This is a photomicrograph of a male pubic louse. The condition known as crabs is so named because of the resemblance of a pubic louse to a crab. The bodies of pubic lice are shorter and rounder than those of head lice.

Crab lice

This photograph shows pubic lice clinging to individual hairs (the small, whitish specks). The reddish, crusted areas with scabs (excoriated areas) are caused by scratching. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Head louse and pubic louse

This picture compares the relative size and shape of the head louse and the pubic louse.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention