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Pubic lice treatment: From coconut oil to calamine lotion, know home remedies

Pubic lice are small insects that stick to your pubic hair. Just like head lice, pubic lice can make you feel very itchy. An expert says coconut oil may help to get rid of pubic lice.
Pubic lice treatment
Try these home remedies if you have pubic lice. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 9 Sep 2023, 06:00 pm IST
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Yes, you’ve heard of hair lice, but pubic lice? Yikes! Even if the thought sends shivers down your spine, you should know they can happen to anyone. When we get head lice, it gets difficult to stop scratching our scalp. Imagine constantly scratching down there, especially when you are at work or some other public place! The embarrassment apart, it is important you go for the right pubic lice treatment.

What is pubic lice?

Pubic lice, also known as crabs, are tiny insects that tend to multiply on your pubic hair. Dr Akriti Gupta, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Jivisha Clinic, New Delhi, says these are little insects that develop on the pubic hair close to the genitals. It is through close touch like while having sex that you can get crabs. They are curable and don’t pose any major health risk, but crabs can cause intense itching. They might also appear on your armpit hair, eyelashes and facial hair. They are not to be confused with head lice, which can attack your scalp away from pubic lice attach themselves.

The lice feeds off human blood to survive and thrive. The usual pubic lice treatment will involve over-the-counter medications such as insecticide cream, lotion or shampoo, But some people may also explore home remedies to kill pubic lice.

private area
Pubic lice can be very itchy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Home remedies for pubic lice treatment

  1. Is coconut oil effective for pubic lice treatment?

    Some women swear by coconut oil to get rid of head lice. In fact, a 2010 study published by International Journal of Dermatology, found coconut oil to an effective way to treat head lice. So, can coconut oil help to get rid of pubic lice too? Dr Gupta says yes, coconut oil aids in treating dry skin and hair as well as pubic lice. The lauric acid is the lice-killing property present in the coconut oil. Its thick consistency may suffocate lice and their eggs. Also, the thick coconut oil may stop lice from spreading. It has fatty acids, which make hair slippery and make it challenging for lice to latch onto them.

However, as most studies have mainly focused on head lice, it is important to keep in mind that the safety and effectiveness of natural therapies for pubic lice vary and are not well-documented. The first difference between pubic and head lice is that the former is smaller. However, if you’ve had success with the home remedy and think it will work for pubic lice, go for it. What kills head lice will likely kill pubic lice too, says the expert.

Try coconut oil to get rid of pubic lice. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Tea tree oil for pubic lice

It is antifungal and antiseptic, making tea tree oil perfect to fight pubic lice. It can be applied to the affected area after being diluted in water.

3. Use a comb with fine teeth

Use a comb with fine teeth to remove pubic hair, suggests the expert. Lice removal can be done with a specialised nit-comb that can be purchased from a pharmacy. To physically get rid of lice, comb your hair, starting at the roots and working your way up.

3. Calamine lotion

Calamine lotion may help to suffocate pubic lice, killing them when they dry. The fact that calamine soothes itching may also help you avoid scratching your skin and getting an infection.

You should also wash all your bedding, clothes, and towels to get rid of any lice. Also, try not to engage in sexual intercourse to avoid the spread of pubic lice.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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