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Pubic lice (Phthirus pubis) are tiny parasitic insects that live on coarse human body hair, such as pubic hair. They spread through close body contact, most commonly sexual contact.
Symptoms of pubic lice
After you come into contact with pubic lice, it can take several weeks before symptoms appear. Some people don't have any symptoms, or may not notice them.
Causes of pubic lice
Pubic lice (Phthirus pubis) are not the result of poor personal hygiene. They are usually caught through close bodily contact with someone who is infected.
Diagnosing pubic lice
If you think you have pubic lice (Phthirus pubis), you should get checked by a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Treating pubic lice
Pubic lice can be treated at home with insecticide cream, lotion or shampoo. It will usually need to be applied once and repeated after three to seven days.
'When my GP said I had pubic lice, I was revolted'
Elise Houghton had pubic lice when she was 17. Here, Elise tells her story.