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Pediculus Pubis Infection

Last updated June 15, 2020

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

Pediculosis is an infection caused by lice that live on the hairy parts of the body. Lice are parasites (small insects) that live on human blood, in the clothing and bedding of infected humans, causing severe itching.


The topic Pediculus Pubis Infection you are seeking is a synonym, or alternative name, or is closely related to the medical condition Pthiriasis.

Quick Summary:

  • Pthiriasis is an infestation of the human pubic region by the parasitic louse known as Pthirus pubis. This infection is commonly known as “crabs”
  • It primarily spreads via sexual contact with individuals who are infected with the parasite. Hence, it is classified as a sexually-transmitted disease (STD)
  • Pthirus pubis is an ectoparasite (meaning it lives on the outside of its host organism) that requires the blood of its host for survival
  • Infected individuals may present symptoms, such as mild to severe itching in the genital area, where the parasites reside. A healthcare provider may diagnose Pthiriasis upon inspection of the pubic area for lice or eggs of P. pubis
  • The treatment of Pthiriasis may involve over-the-counter or prescription medication, often administered topically (applied directly to the skin)
  • The prognosis of Pthiriasis is generally good with proper medical treatment. Symptoms often resolve within 10 days of the start of treatment with no long-lasting side effects being noted

Please find comprehensive information on Pthiriasis regarding definition, distribution, risk factors, causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention, prognosis, and additional useful information HERE.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 13, 2017
Last updated: June 15, 2020