Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

What does crabs look like, what do they do, and how do you get rid of them? and I am talking about the ones that grab on to your pubic hair.

Under the microscope, pubic lice look like tiny crabs. To the naked eye, they appear to be pale gray, but get darker when swollen with blood. They attach themselves and their eggs to pubic hair, underarm hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. Their eggs are white and are deposited in small clumps near the hair roots.

They can be spread by sex and other intimate or close contact. They’re also spread by contact with infected bedding, clothing, upholstered furniture, and toilet seats.

Pubic lice can be treated pretty easily with certain over-the-counter body and hair shampoos, such as A-200, RID, and InnoGel. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and infants, however, can’t use these medications. They must use products designed especially for them, such as Eurax.

Whatever treatment is chosen, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment from head-to-toe. Everyone who may have been exposed to pubic lice should be treated at the same time. It’s also important to wash — with very hot water — all bedding, towels, and clothing that may have been exposed, and to vacuum all carpets.

If you think you have pubic lice and have trouble getting rid of it, you may want to see a health care provider. Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center to schedule an appointment.

Tags: STDs, crabs