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Pubic Lice or crabs

Pubic lice or crabs can be spread by sexual contact.  This page outlines the symptoms and treatment for pubic lice.

What is it?

Pubic lice or crabs are small lice that live in the pubic hair. They cause inflammation and irritation.

How do you get them?

You can get pubic lice or crabs through close body contact, usually during sex with an infected person. Lice can be spread through infected bedding and clothing.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include:

  • intense itching in and around the pubic area
  • nits (lice eggs) are often found on the pubic hair.

How are they treated?

Pubic lice or crabs are treated by applying a special shampoo, cream or ointment to the pubic area to kill the lice. Clothing and bedding should be washed.

Will it impact my partner/s?

Recent partners may be infected.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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