Phthirus pubis; pubic louse as it’s name shows is found mostly on public hair, armpit hair, eyebrows, mustaches and beards in human beings. They are tan to grayish white in color and have six legs; the front two legs looking like pincher claws; so they are nicknamed crabs. They attach themselves to human hair and are transmitted by contact. It is better to prevent them, but if one already has them there are effective cures also.
The presence of public louse is first noticed when they itch and a person starts scratching himself. It could cause irritation or infection of the eyelids and other secondary infections in the areas where they live. They feed and live on human blood only and die when they are removed.
Public louse is transmitted through bedding, towels and other belongings of the infested person. It is wrong to assume that they can be spread by using the same toilet seat. The reason is that public louse cannot live for mush time away from human blood and warmth and are incapable of walking on smooth toilet surfaces. It is best to avoid public louse by avoiding contact with things used by the infested person.
Public louse infestation is more common by sexual contacts also. Hence the same rule that applies to prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases applies here too; avoid sexual contact with more than one partner and anyone having multiple sexual partners. In addition those who have public louse should be investigated for other sexually-transmitted diseases also.
It is best to decrease the chance of sexually-transmitted-diseases with condoms. But this may not work too efficiently in case of public louse as the public hair is not covered.
If prevention has not worked one should treat public louse. Look for a good lice-killing shampoo which has permethrin or pyrethrin in it. Your doctor or local pharmist would be in a position to help you out. A prescribed medication with lindane could also help. However lindane is contra-indicated in case of pregnant and nursing mothers and very small children.
One could browse the net and also take the advice of medical practitioners to find more effective preventive and treatment methods to get rid of public louse.