Pubic lice are best described as parasites that strive on pubic hair. Its favourite spots on the body are on the underarm, chest and leg hair, beards and moustaches as well as on eyelashes and eyebrows. But pubic lice do not survive on scalp hair. They are transmitted through sexual intercourse or bodily contact.


Pubic lice exhibit several symptoms in both women and men. However, it takes several weeks before the symptoms are seen and they include:

  • Itching
  • Spots of blood on the skin
  • Inflammation and skin irritation in the affected area
  • The presence of black powder in underwear.

Pubic lice are most active at night. Hence, the itching becomes worse at night and less during the day.


The adult pubic lice are very small and difficult to see. They have six legs and usually dull red or yellow-grey colour. They resemble craps because their front legs look like the claws of crap, which they use to grab hold of their victim’s hair.

The adult pubic lice lay their eggs in sacs in the hair. The eggs are pale brownish colour, and when they hatch, they turn white empty shells. Even though pubic lice are difficult to see they can become visible on a closer look and when they hatch in coarse hair aside from scalp hair.

When to seek medical advice

Our medical practioners at STI Clinic London can diagnose pubic lice by examining the affected area for signs of the lice using a magnifying glass to look at its eggs or the movement of the lice.

Generally, it is recommended to get tested for STIs if you are diagnosed to have pubic lice. Pubic lice cannot transmit viruses such as HIV/AIDS. But a checkup is still recommended.

How can one get infected?

Anyone can contact pubic lice through close body contact with an infected person, mostly during sexual contact. Pubic lice feed on human blood for survival as they move from one person to another.

Treatment of pubic lice

Pubic lice can be treated using a solution shampoo or cream. We usually recommended to treat the entire body or rub the cream on it and not just on the affected area to avoid the spread of the lice. It is advised to use another treatment if one doesn’t work after repeated use for several days. You should also consult your doctor or pharmacist for the best advice possible.

Condoms cannot protect you against pubic lice.

Side effects

Most creams and insecticides used for treating lice may cause some side effects such as skin irritation, itching, burning sensation and redness of the skin. Ensure you discontinue use if you have any skin irritation.

However, the first treatment can only kill some of the lice while leaving a host of others and the eggs. Ensure you apply the medication after several days to ensure the eggs hatched or laid are destroyed.


Pubic lice infestation may result in other issues such as eye or skin problem. Scratching the affected area can only make it worse, ensure you seek medical attention in such a situation. Call us today at STI Clinic London for more information on prevention and treatment of pubic lice.