(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 patients older than 6 years
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.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology http://www.acog.org
HealthLink BC http://www.healthlinkbc.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Lindane shampoo and lindane lotion. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm110452.htm. Updated June 18, 2009. Accessed May 28, 2015.
Medication guide lindane shampoo. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda%5Fdocs/label/2003/006309shampoolbl.pdf. Updated April 2002. Accessed May 28, 2015.
Parasites—lice. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/lice/pubic/factsheet.html. Updated September 24, 2013. Accessed May 28, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/28/2015 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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