Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
DESCRIPTION (Diagnosis must be confirmed by a physician.)
Crab lice are small, light brown, flat, pinhead insects that
infest pubic hair. They attach their eggs (nits) onto pubic
hair and feed on a person's tiny blood vessels.
- Little red sores and itching in the pubic area.
Crab lice, also called pediculosis pubis, are transmitted by
very close physical contact with an infested person.
Although usually transmitted through sexual contact, crab
lice infestation may also be caused by sleeping in a bed or
sharing the towels or clothing of an infested person. The
lice can remain alive in bedding for 1 to 2 weeks.
Crab lice do not leave the body voluntarily and must be
With proper treatment, usually the lice are killed and the
symptoms clear in about 1 week.
- Nix (1% permethrin) or RID (pyrethrins with piperonyl
butoxide) lice-killing shampoo
Instructions for use:
- Apply the lice-killing shampoo to the pubic hair.
Make sure all the hair is wet with the product.
- Leave the shampoo on for the number of minutes
required on the package instructions.
- Add water until a good lather forms.
- Rinse thoroughly and rub with a dry towel.
- Comb the pubic hair thoroughly with a fine-tooth comb
to remove any remaining nits.
- A second treatment must be done in 7 to 10 days to
kill any newly hatched lice.
Tell your sexual partner about the crab lice because he
or she may also be infested. Since these infestations
are spread easily, all members of your household should
also be examined carefully. Whoever else also has lice
should be treated promptly to avoid spreading the lice
Dry clean or wash contaminated clothing, towels, and bed
linens (sheets, pillowcases, blankets) in a washing
machine with very hot water. Contaminated clothing that
cannot be washed should be sealed in a plastic bag for 2
weeks to ensure death of nits.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- Your symptoms persist after a second treatment.
- You have other questions or concerns.