STI Friday!

I have decided to cover an STI each Friday for the next few weeks…

Today we will start with the least ’dangerous’ but very annoying ‘Crabs’ or Pubic Lice. These little creatures are small, but the adults can be seen without a magnifying glass. They are purpose built to cling comfortably between two pubic hairs. As you will have no doubt noticed by now, your pubic hair follicles are spaced much further apart than the hair on your head. This is why pubic lice do not generally wonder up north. The hair on your head is too dense.

The first you will know about a personal infestation (Pediculosis is the medical term for an infestation), is an itch that just won’t go away. You know that feeling when a rouge pubic hair has bent backwards to stick in and you just have to rearrange things for your sanity… well it is kinda like that, but no amount of rearranging will get rid of it. They are somewhat nocturnal, so the itching may be worse at night.

PL will transfer themselves between two human hosts during contact. You do not even have to have intercourse, just be naked and up close to someone unlucky enough to have them and these tiny parasites will happily transfer a few of their best men and women to your pubic hair. They can also live off a human host for about 24 hours, and the eggs can survive the 7-9 days prior to hatching without being on a body. This means that they can be transferred on towels, sheets and clothing. If detected wash all sheets, towels and clothing in very hot water to kill the adults and eggs.

The itching comes about when they attach themselves to a couple of pubic hairs, head pointed down onto your skin and start feeding on your warm juicy blood! Much like those affected by mosquito bites, the itch is caused by an allergic reaction to the anticoagulant they inject while feeding.

crabs[1] This shows an adult (under a microscope), and an infestation with adults and eggs, just so you know what they actually look like, in real life!

Their life cycle is short, they only live for about a month. They reproduce quickly and easily, so it is important if you detect an infestation to attend to your situation as soon as possible. If you are able to kill and destroy all the adults you see when you are checking out your bits, but you do not see a doctor for some super anti PL shampoo, you will most likely find the next generation will appear in 7-9 days, once the eggs have hatched. The eggs are cemented to the hair follicle near the skin, so that the babies can find a feed as soon as they are born.

Unfortunately, using a condom will not stop these little guys from heading your way if you are up close and personal to someone with an infestation. If you are unlucky enough to be the host of a Pubic Lice party in your pants, just deal with it immediately, and don’t have contact with anyone else until you know you have taken care of it.

Happy loving everyone!

Darleen Proud


P.S. If you enjoyed reading this check out my eBook “Sex Ed 101, The Stuff They Didn’t Teach You At School”, Available on my website through the Shop.