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Pubic lice

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Pediculosis, caused by pubic lice, is an infestation of parasites that live on the human body and feed on its blood. These lice are also known as lice. It is important to note that infection with pediculosis pubis is possible not only in unfavorable conditions or from irregular hygiene, but also occurs in ordinary places.

  • Disease: phthiriasis
  • What striking: pubis, perineum, anus, armpits
  • Symptoms: itching, ulcers, skin inflammation
  • Complications: increased symptoms, transmission of infection to other people
  • Doctor: dermatologist, dermatovenerologist
  • Treatment: medicinal
  • Prevention: hair removal, depilation, hygiene, limiting the number of casual sexual relationships

What are pubic lice?

Pubic lice are parasitic insects that live on the human body, usually in the pubic area. They feed on the blood of their hosts and can cause itching and discomfort. This type of lice is often called lice and is the cause of an infection known as lice pubis.

What do pubic lice look like?

These insects are small in size - up to 3 mm. Females are noticeably larger than males and have a flattened oval body of a light brown color. Their three pairs of legs are spread wide, making the width of the insect appear greater than its length. Their legs are long and pincer-shaped, which allows them to move along triangular hair. On round hairs, such as those that grow on the head, they cannot attach, so they do not live on the head.

Like other types of lice, pubic lice also have several stages of development: nits, nymphs stages 1, 2 and 3, and then adults. The pubic louse lives up to 30 days and during this time lays approximately 50 eggs. They can survive without food for a day and, if unfavorable conditions arise, they can fall into a state of suspended animation, spending several months in it. Pubic lice can live up to two days in water and withstand a load of up to 1 kg, for example, on a beach in the sand.

What are the symptoms of lice pubis?

Symptoms of lice pubis include:

1. Itching in the pubic area
2. Appearance of a rash or red patches of skin
3. The presence of eggs (nits) on the hair of the pubic area
4. Visibility of live pubic lice

If you suspect that you have lice pubis, it is important to see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Why is phthiriasis dangerous?

Excessive scratching of the skin caused by lice pubis can lead to the formation of ulcers and boils, which if left untreated can lead to more serious infections such as typhus. In addition, pubic lice can transmit allergens and sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. If the infestation is extensive, lice can spread to other areas of the body such as eyebrows and eyelashes, which can lead to conjunctivitis and other eye diseases.

How are pubic lice transmitted?

Pubic lice are spread through close contact with an infected person, usually through sexual contact or by sharing clothing, bedding or towels.

How can you become infected with phthiriasis?

Pubic lice can be transmitted not only through close contact with infected people, but also through various surfaces, such as the clothing of a sick person, towels, bedding, public toilets, beaches, solariums, baths, saunas, swimming pools and other public places. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution when communicating with potential carriers of parasites and follow preventive measures.

methods of infection with phthiriasis

How common are pubic lice?

The incidence of pubic lice can depend on various factors, including the level of hygiene, the degree of close contact with infected people and social conditions. In some societies, pubic lice infection may be more common, while in other places it may be more isolated.

How to prevent pubic lice?

To prevent pubic lice, it is recommended to practice certain personal hygiene measures, such as taking regular showers, using personal hygiene products, including clothing and towels, and avoiding close contact with infected people. It is also important to keep bedding and clothing clean to reduce the chance of transmitting pubic lice.

How are pubic lice diagnosed?

Diagnosis of pubic lice is usually done by visual inspection of the affected areas of the skin. A doctor can detect the presence of lice as well as their eggs, which are known as nits. To more accurately confirm the diagnosis, microscopic examination of hair or skin scales is sometimes used.

How to get rid of pubic lice?

Treatment for pubic lice usually involves the use of lice treatments to kill the lice and their eggs. To simplify the treatment process, it is often recommended to remove hair from the affected areas of the body, ensuring careful disposal of the trimmed hair. Mechanical hair removal from the affected area is the most effective treatment method, preventing the parasites from living and reproducing. If mechanical removal is not possible, it is possible to use folk remedies or special preparations that can destroy lice and nits.

Folk remedies

The same products used to kill hair or body lice can be used to kill pubic lice and nits. Some of these remedies include:

— Vinegar solution
— Porridge of crushed cranberries
- Castor oil
— Geranium oil

However, they require long-term use to be effective and may be less effective in severe pubic lice infestations. More aggressive options, such as 3% hydrogen peroxide, boron or sulfur ointments, and kerosene, can be effective but require careful use due to possible toxicity and risk of burns.

Professional tools

Treatment of phthiriasis includes medication using effective agents aimed at destroying lice and nits. For this purpose, pediculicides are used, such as Medilis-Permifen, Medilis-Bio, Medilis-Malathion or Medilis-Super, which are available in the form of sprays or emulsions. When using these medications, it is important to strictly follow the instructions for use that come with each of them. Most of them are safe for people without individual intolerance, and some can be used to treat children over 5 years of age. The positive effect of use usually occurs within a few minutes or hours.

Local treatment

Local treatment is carried out using special solutions or creams containing active ingredients such as permethrin and pyrethrin. These substances are widely used to combat lice, including pubic lice. After applying the drug to the affected areas, leave it for several minutes in accordance with the instructions and rinse with water. Then it is recommended to remove nits and lice with a special fine-toothed comb and change clothes.

These agents are usually well tolerated. However, before using solutions with permethrin, you should consult your doctor, especially if treatment is planned for pregnant women or young children.

If itching persists a week after initial treatment or lice or eggs are found, repeat treatment is required. In case of insufficient effectiveness, the drug ivermectin is used, which can be used externally or in tablet form. However, pregnant women are not recommended to use this therapy.

Note: If eyelashes and eyebrows are affected, you can use a greasy ointment, such as Vaseline, to kill lice. Your doctor may carefully remove nits and lice with tweezers. To prevent injury, it is recommended to avoid using sharp instruments in the eye area.

Joint treatment of sexual partners

Regular sexual partners should be simultaneously treated with lice medications and avoid close contact until treatment is complete.

Those who live with infected people but have not had sexual contact and are not showing symptoms do not require treatment.

Hygiene measures

Bed linen, towels and clothing should be washed in a washing machine at a temperature of at least 60 degrees. If this is not possible, you can place the items in a sealed bag for two weeks without using them.

Disinfecting smooth surfaces or objects such as toilet seats is not necessary because lice cannot hold onto them, nor is it necessary to treat the entire room.

Preventing pubic lice

Pubic lice can affect anyone, regardless of their lifestyle. To reduce the likelihood of illness, you should maintain personal hygiene, avoid sexual contact with strangers, and do not use other people's hygiene items, such as bedding, clothing or towels. In public places, it is also worth using individual sheets on the seats in the sauna or pool.

After visiting places where infection is possible, it is important to wash thoroughly, iron your clothes with a hot iron and carry out preventive hair removal in intimate areas. If you suspect a lice infestation, you should consult a doctor and begin treatment to prevent further increase in the insect population. Starting the fight in a timely manner allows you to get rid of lice quickly and without health consequences.

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