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Pubic lice could be the reason why your vagina itches so. Here’s everything you need to know

Published on:28 June 2020, 20:45pm IST
Turns out lice not just attacks the hair on your head, but can also make home on your vagina. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Pubic lice or crabs can make your life miserable. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Where there is hair, there is the possibility of lice–yes, even on your vulva. Surprised? Well, you’ll be surprised to know that those lice can also cause a major itch down there.

Before you start panicking, know this: pubic lice are completely preventable. In fact, here’s everything you need to know about the infection–how you can avoid it and keep yourself safe.

What is a pubic lice infection?
Pubic lice are commonly known as “crabs” are just like hair lice, these are also parasite insects. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), usually, you’ll find these lice in the genital area.

“Pubic lice are rare but you can’t rule out the possibility of having them. Usually, I’ve seen them in young girls,” says Dr Charu Sud, obstetrician and gynaecologist, Apollo clinic, Pune.

Causes of pubic lice infection
Unsafe sex or skin to skin sexual intercourse with an infected person is the biggest cause of getting pubic lice. In fact, according to the CDC if you find pubic lice in children’s genitals then this might also show that they have been sexually exposed or abused.

vaginal itching
Your itchy vagina could be a sign of pubic lice infection. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Apart from that if you use towels, underwear, clothes etc of a person who has them then also you can get it.

Although there is a disbelief that you can get pubic lice from a toilet seat, according to the CDC it is rarely possible as lice can’t survive for long without a warm human body.

Dr Sud says:

If you are living in a hostel where bed sheets and clothes aren’t washed properly then also there are chances of you getting pubic lice from an infected piece of cloth.

Signs of pubic lice infection
Although there are no extreme signs that give away the presence of pubic lice, you should check your genitals thoroughly if you are experiencing extreme itching or any of the below symptoms:

*Itching the genital and the anus
*Low-grade fever
*Bite spots of body or genitals (like red bruise)
*Irritability

Do you know that serve itching caused by pubic lice can also lead to wounds around your genitals which can cause irritation?

How to treat pubic lice?
Unfortunately, pubic lice don’t vanish voluntarily and you have to take medical guidance. Dr Sud says: “These lice are tinier than the head lice and therefore it is hard to find these lice so you have to watch out for the signs.”

According to her, Permethrin shampoo and lotion are available in the market. To use them, she suggests first washing the affected area, towel drying it, and making lather using the shampoo. Keep it for 3 to 5 minutes and then rinse it. Dry yourself properly and then wear clean clothes.

She says: “Use this shampoo after consulting your doctor. One wash will suffice as it will kill the eggs and the lice. But if it doesn’t help then update your doctor about it.”

She also advocates that if anyone in your home has pubic lice then wash all their clothes in hot water because heat kills them.

She concludes: “People think that clipping, waxing, and shaving pubic hair can solve the problem, but that’s not an answer.”

Who would have thought that lice can live on our genitals, right? But now that you know how this avoid this situation you will hopefully be careful.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.