Do I Have Crabs?

Last updated: August 2, 2019

Contributed by:
Richard Honaker M.D.
Primary Care Physician
View Full Profile

Pubic lice, better known as “crabs” is a common sexual health issue we often get on our free online doctor chat. You may have asked yourself, “Do I have crabs?” You may have even searched Google to get medical advice on pubic lice, crabs. To help our audience better understand this health issue, we decided to create this crabs compilation.

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What are Crabs?

Crabs, or pubic lice are tiny parasites that attach to your hair and skin on or around your private parts. These pesky parasites are not life threatening, but they can cause a lot of discomfort, like itching. There is an easy treatment for crabs as well, and it is best to be crab free before sexual intercourse to prevent spreading your pubic lice to others.

Is Crabs Common?

Yes, crabs are very common and millions get infected with pubic lice every year. How do crabs live on and around your private parts? Pubic lice feed on your blood to survive and the only way to get rid of them is with medication. The important thing to remember is that being infected with crabs doesn’t make you a dirty person. It is a common women’s health issue that you simply need to treat.

How Do You Get Crabs?

Crabs are normally spread via sexual intercourse, because they live on or around human genitalia. When your private parts make contact with someone with pubic lice, the crabs will transfer. You can also get crabs from chest hair, armpits, beards, eyebrows, and more. It is not always transmitted via sex. For instance, you can get crabs by sharing a towel or sleeping in a bed with pubic lice.

Can I Get Crabs From a Toilet Seat?

Getting crabs from a toilet seat would be very rare. Pubic lice do not tend to live very long once off of skin. The contact would need to be instant, however, not completely impossible. Pubic lice are also not the same as head lice.

What are the Symptoms of Crabs?

Crabs symptoms can begin five days after being infected. These pubic lice symptoms include, intense itching and rash-like redness in your private area. However, you may have no symptoms at all.

How Do I Know I Have Crabs?

Getting tested for crabs by a doctor is the only way to know that you have pubic lice for sure. This testing can also be done with other STD and STI tests. You can go to a community health center to get tested and treated. Get a healthy start to 2018 and learn more about STDs and safe sex.

Do you have questions about STDs or STIs? Talk to a doctor online for free now, and also sign up for six months of free healthcare.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

About Richard Honaker M.D.

Dr. Richard Honaker has over 40 years of experience as a primary care physician specializing in several different areas of medicine. He is able to provide expert case review and analysis for insurance and workers compensation cases as well as providing online medical consultations as the Chief Medical Advisor for Your Doctors Online.

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