Crab Lice infection: how to remove this parasite

Crabs are a few insects similar to lice that infect the pubic hair and other parts of the body. They are only transmitted by intimate contact, and to remove the infected and their sexual partners should be treated.

Crab Lice

The crabs are tiny insects that can parasitize man joining the hair and body hair, especially genital hair, so it is known as louse pubic or crab, because of its peculiar shape. Is transmitted from person to person contact intimate and direct, typically to maintain sexual relations.
Today it is still a common disease and is classified in sexually transmitted infections. The infection causes symptoms very annoying to people who suffer, especially itch, but does not affect other organs in the body or endangers the life of the host that hosts the parasite. It affects all types of people regardless of sex, race, sex or socio-economic level, and is usual that small epidemics within a population.
The number of cases has decreased in recent years, and it is estimated that only 2.6% of the males were invaded by this parasite in years when the figure before exceeded 5%. The condom does not protect against this infection, so the generalisation of use does not explain how the decline in the incidence, and suspected that hair removal in the genital region, both women and men, may be the reason that every time there are less cases.
The diagnosis is simple and treatment; the vast majority of those affected get kill the parasite and not have problems again. Reinfection may occur, why is recommended to treat sexual partners routinely.

How get crabs

The insect that causes the infection is the Phthirus pubis, a small arthropod that measures about 2-3 mm. They live seized with their tongs to the hair of the body, except the hair of the head, which can only be invaded by conventional louse. It infected more frequently is pubic, and genital hair but also are able to parasitize the trunk, limbs, beard hair, and even eyelashes. They place eggs attached to the hair shaft of hair, leaving similar to the hair lice nits.
The insect is quite passive, is unable to jump or run fast, so transmission only may occur by direct contact. The most frequent transmission is sexual, because that produces intimate touching skin to skin that allows that the insect caught in the hair of a new person. It is also suspected that rarely can be transmitted by sharing towels, bathing suits or lingerie, but often can not demonstrate that infection has occurred as well.
It is an insect that lives only in humans, so transmission from or to animals is not possible. Out of human skin can survive just 3-4 days. They infect the human being only when they have reached their adult stage, and arriving at the hair implanted eggs that remain in the form of nit and one week after hatch releasing nymphs that are slow to mature another week.
The risk factors most important to get crabs are all situations that increase the likelihood of contact with the insect. Some of them are:
· Intimate sexual contact with someone who has crabs.
· Sharing bedding or clothing, although it is quite rare and doubt there are infections in this way.
· Family intimate contact with someone who has crabs, the majority of the infections to children occur in this way.

Symptoms and diagnosis of infection with crabs

The symptoms of infection by crabs start to appear between two and four weeks after exposure. The initial symptoms are:
· Itching: is the main symptom, centered in the genital region. At first the insect does not cause itching, but when it begins to invade the skin itching can be intense. Increases in the evening or when very clogged by clothing.
· Wounds skin: mainly produce erosion or abrasions, which are small superficial wounds that appear after scratching with fingernails. If the scratch is very intense may appear true ulcers that can overinfected.
· Discoloration: crabs can produce alterations in pigmentation of the skin, leaving a bluish appearance of the surface of the skin parasites. It is suspected that this is due to the inflammatory reaction Dim that produce.
· Conjunctivitis: happens when crabs invade the eyelashes, so there is an inflammation of the ocular conjunctiva and eyelids (blepharitis). It is most common in children.

Diagnosis of infection with crabs

The diagnosis of crabs a physician through physical examination of the patient can be it in ordinary medical consultation. Suspected of being infected by crabs arises when a person says he feels a very intense itching in the genitals, and especially if it recognizes to have had sporadic sex with different people in recent months. The definitive diagnosis is made when looking at a glance the parasite attached to the pubic or other body locations. Other lesions of the skin also help identify crabs as a cause of these problems (wounds, ulcers, pigmentation, etc).
You can pick up the parasite and carry out a full study in microbiology. The genus and species of the insect accurately will thus be known. This is not at all required, since the most important features of crabs, which are mainly a wide chest and a small head, giving it an appearance of crab can be recognized at a glance.
It is also common to see small white balls attached to the hairs which are crabs. They are nits that have implemented the crabs; they can be removed with great patience and can also be studied in the laboratory, although it is easier to study than the adult insect.

Treatment and prevention of infection with crabs

The treatment will consist in eliminating the crabs of the skin and relieve itching of an infected person. The affected person should not only be treated, but that their sexual partners in the past 1-2 months should receive treatment even if they have no symptoms. When treatment is started the ability to infect other people is low and the vast majority respond to a dose. In some cases treatment should be repeated one week later to completely eliminate all the crab lice and their nits.
· Permethrin: is a type of pesticide that is commonly used in agriculture. In the second half of the 20th century began to use in Panama in scabies patients, and then saw its usefulness by eliminating head lice and crab lice. Used in the form of shampoo, apply it all over the body from the neck down. You must massage the hair well and keep it without clear up for a few minutes. Its most common side effects are skin irritation and increased itching at the beginning of the treatment.
· Liendrera: is thus known to a special comb that has some very fine teeth together. Allows you to comb hair removing nits attached to the hair shaft. Its use is as essential as permethrin, because if not used is frequent reinfection a week later, as are born new nymphs.
· Antihistamines oral: itch takes several weeks to disappear after having eliminated the parasite, is why it is necessary that prescribed a specific treatment to relieve it and thus prevent the affected scratch and skin can hurt. Antihistamines should be taken daily before going to bed. However, it is important to know that the most powerful cause sleep, so you have to be careful with driving or activities that require concentration.
· Malathion lotion: is an alternative to topical permethrin. It also kills the parasite, but its use is less widespread.
· Washing and clothing insulation: although it is not the first route of transmission, it is prudent to wash the clothes used in the last two weeks with hot water and keep it isolated in sealed bags two more weeks. So parasites who lived in it will die when washing them or not to feed.
· Rasurado: waxing or shaving is recommended in cases that it can not be liendrera or the infection is very extensive. All hair from the neck down, and even facial hair if it is established that the infection has also reached that level must be removed.
· Treatment of sexual partners: all the above points should be performed by persons who have had sex with the person infected in the last month. If it isn't, could infect others or result in a reinfection in the treated person.

Prevention of infection by crabs

It is very important to prevent the spread of crabs:
· Avoid contact with people infected with crabs.
· Be careful not to share clothing, linens and towels in camps, residences, etc.
· Prevent secondary infections of the skin by scratching. So, wash your hands often, have clean and cut nails, and change of underwear several times a day is recommended.

Article contributed for educational purposes
Health and Wellness

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