Crabs (pubic lice)
crabs; pubic; lice; sexually; transmitted; disease; young people; people; youth;teenager; body lice; louse; pubic lice; sexually transmitted infections; infections; sexually transmitted diseases; pediculosis ;
Crabs are tiny little lice that cause a lot of itching around the genitals, in the pubic hair and sometimes other coarse body hair (such as under arm hair). They're called crabs because they have little crab like legs that they use to hang on to the hair.
They are usually spread by close body contact including sexual activity. However they can live off the body for several hours, clinging to towels, underwear and even sheets and blankets. They are different to head lice and do not live in head hair - though they sometimes can live in beards!
For information about pubic lice have a look at this topic on the Better Health Channel
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor or other health professional.