How to spot pubic lice

Dr Louisa Draper

"Pubic lice are most commonly spread via close bodily contact, but they can also live for a short time on towels and bedding and can spread between people who share them."

Dr Louisa Draper

Pubic lice - also known as ‘crabs’ - are tiny insects that live in human hair. Although they are commonly found in coarse pubic hair, they are also sometimes found in leg and underarm hair, hair on the chest, abdomen and back and very occasionally in eyebrows and lashes.

Pubic lice are most commonly spread via close bodily contact, but they can also live for a short time on towels and bedding and can spread between people who share them. The lice can also live on clothes, which is why it’s advised to try on swimsuits and underwear in shops with a protective layer.

Although they don’t spread sexually transmitted infections (STIs), people who are infected with pubic lice through sexual contact are advised to get themselves checked for other STIs.