How to Know If You Have Crabs

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Ordinarily found in adults, crab lice are six-legged parasitic creatures that latch onto a person's pubic region. They are also known to affect the armpit hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), reports that people can contract pubic lice, or crabs, through sexual contact, but it can also be transferred through close contact with bed linens, clothing and towels used by an infested person. There is a misconception that you can get them from toilet seats, because the lice need warmth and moisture and the surface doesn't allow them to latch on. Knowing whether or not you have crabs allows you to take steps needed to get rid of them for good. Crabs spread from carrier to carrier easily, so ridding yourself of a crab infestation is absolutely necessary to keep from giving them to people around you.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand held mirror
  • Fine toothed comb
  • Undress and sit on the toilet in your bathroom, or the edge of your tub.

  • Sit with your legs opened and sprawled out in front of you.

  • Hold the mirror in one hand, and the fine-toothed comb in the other.

  • Aim the handheld mirror at your genitals, so you can see them clearly.

  • Use the fine-toothed comb to part your pubic hair in multiple places so you can check for the telltale symptoms of having crabs, which include visible eggs or crab-like insects, lesions and sores or a grayish flaky skin rash.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact your physician if you think you have crabs. He or she can prescribe you a shampoo to get rid of them.
  • If a child has pubic lice, it might be a sign of sexual abuse.

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