Pubic Lice (Crabs)

licePubic lice are parasites that can be sexually transmitted.

Pubic lice are transmitted through direct skin to skin contact. They are only found on the genital area, but can be transmitted through indirect skin contact by sharing wet, used towels or loofa sponges. Using a condom during sexual contact can reduce the chance of transmission.

Symptoms & Complications

Pubic lice burrow underneath the skin to cause a red, itchy, burning, skin infection.


If you are experiencing symptoms or think you’ve been exposed to Pubic lice, it’s very important to get tested. Medical providers will exam the affected area and are able to see the pubic lice on the skin in order to diagnose the infection.


Pubic lice are curable and treatable with medicated cream and shampoo. It’s important to apply the entire course of medication, even if symptoms go away soon.

Learn More

For detailed information on each infection, check the Center for Disease Control. You can also ask us an anonymous question right on our website. If you are experiencing symptoms of an STI, think you’ve been exposed to an STI, or want to talk to a professional, call Teen Clinic to make an appointment with a qualified health care provider.