Pediculosis Pubis

In general, pubic lice is a sexually transmitted disease. Rarely, it may be passed from person to person via infested clothing, bed linens, and so on. Affected individuals should be evaluated for other sexually transmitted diseases. One report indicated that as many as 30 percent of individuals with pubic lice have another sexually transmitted disease. In children, the possibility of sexual abuse should be considered.

As with head lice, the main complaint with pubic lice is itching, which may vary in intensity. Pubic hair of the groin is most commonly infested, but body hair and eyelashes may be affected as well. Close inspection reveals the lice and nits ( Fig, 2.4,2.-4.).

FIG. 242-4. Pubic lice. Pubic lice are seen on the skin surface, and nits are attached to the pubic hairs.

Treatment involves the same medications as for head lice, listed above. Permethrin (Nix) is the preferred initial therapy and should be applied to the affected area for 10 min and then rinsed. Eyelash infestations should be treated by manually removing as many lice and nits as possible and then applying petrolatum to the lashes two to three times a day for 10 days.

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