Also known as crabs, these tiny blood sucking insects live in pubic hair. Adult pubic lice are about 2mm long and are grey-brown in colour. You can catch pubic lice through sexual or other close contact with someone who has them.
It can take one to three weeks between getting infected and noticing any symptoms.
When you do, you may be able to see live lice or eggs in hair anywhere on your body, such as:
- in your pubic hair or the hair around your anus
- in hair on your chest, abdomen or back
- in your armpit hair
- in your facial hair, such as moustaches and beards
- along the edge of your scalp
- in your eyebrows or eyelashes.
You can treat pubic lice with lotion or cream that you can get from the chemist. It will need to be applied once and repeated after seven days and everyone that you have had close body contact with should be treated at the same time. This includes current sexual partners and people you live with.