Pubic Pediculosis – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


Pubic Pediculosis – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments In this article you will get all your doubts about this disease. In addition, Pubic Pediculosis , popularly known as boring, is a contagious disease caused by the parasitic insect Phthirus pubis, also called pubic louse . The Pubic Pediculosis is an infection similar to that which occurs on the scalp when infested with lice.

What is Pubic Pediculosis:

The name pubic louse did not come up for nothing because Phthirus pubis is a parasitic insect  in the same family as Pediculus humanus capitis, the famous  scalp infesting louse .

Phthirus pubis is an ectoparasite, ie a parasite that lives outside our body, unlike, for example, intestinal worms, which are endoparasites, which live inside our body.

Phthirus pubis is a louse about 1 mm in diameter, shaped like a crab, hence its other nickname: crab louse. It is translucent and very difficult to identify with the naked eye unless it has recently fed, being full of blood, as in the image below.

Causes of Pubic Pediculosis:

The Pediculosis Pubic is caused by itching in the pubic area, location of louse eggs attached to the hair and blood crosticulas skin and clothing. The diagnosis of pediculosis of the body is evidenced by intense body itching, urticated papules of purpuric centers, which are more common on the back, shoulders and buttocks; and location of the parasite and nits in the folds of clothing.

Pubic Pediculosis Symptoms:

The signs and symptoms of boring usually appear a week after the infection. The main one is intense itching in the pubic region. Burning sensation in this region is also common. If the louse  is present on other areas of the body that have hair such as the beard, legs, armpits and chest, they may also be itchy.

The itching of the pubic pediculosis is most intense at night and the frantic scratching can cause skin sores. Some patients may also have enlarged lymph nodes in the groin area.

Small purple spots or dark spots of 0.5 to 1.0 cm may appear in people with intense and prolonged infestation. They occur by reaction of the skin to the hair’s saliva, which contains anticoagulant substances. Some patients may also have enlarged groin lymph nodes.

Parents of children infected with Pthirus pubis in the eyelashes or eyebrows should be investigated as they are often the source of infestation of their children. Towels and bedding are often the source of transmission in these cases.

In eyelash infestations there is usually conjunctivitis and crusting on the tips of these hairs. In some cases it is also possible to see parasite eggs stuck to the eyelashes.

Treatment of Pubic Pediculosis:

The pubic lice may be treated with medications similar to those used in treatment of lice  head. Because Pthirus pubis is an insect, its treatment is with lotions containing insecticides suitable for use on human skin, such as Permethrin or Pyrethrin.

Usually the cream or lotion is applied to areas of hair and rinsed after 10 minutes. Insecticide contact with mucous membranes such as the glans or vagina should be avoided. Just like in head lice.

The pubic louse and its nits can be removed manually with the aid of a fine comb. Oral Ivermectin may be a treatment alternative if the lotions do not have the desired effect.

Clothes and towels should be washed with hot water to prevent transmission to others or recontamination of the patient. Also in order to prevent recontamination, sexual partners should be treated even if they are asymptomatic. It is important to warn the patient that after treatment and elimination of the pubic louse , itching can still persist for up to 1 week.

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