Head lice

Updated 19 January 2016

Symptoms of pubic lice

Pubic lice and nits are quite small and therefore are not always visible to the naked eye. However, even if you can't see any lice or nits, there are other symptoms and signs to watch out for.

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After being exposed to pubic lice, a type of lice that are most commonly found in the pubic region, it may take several days or even weeks before you first begin to notice symptoms. In fact, some people with pubic lice do not notice any symptoms.

Generally speaking, women and men experience the same signs and symptoms. These include:

- Itching in the pubic area (this can range from mild to intense itching)

- Small blue spots on the upper thighs, pubic region or lower abdomen

- Small but visible white oval-shaped eggs (nits) that are usually attached to the base of a hair

- Black or dark brown powder (lice droppings) in your underwear or on your pubic area 

- Irritation in the area from scratching

If you have lice or suspect you may have lice, it is recommended that you visit a doctor in order to be properly diagnosed and treated. Your doctor also may also recommend that you be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Read more:

What are pubic lice?

Diagnosing pubic lice

Treating pubic lice

Sources: Sexual Health; US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; NHS Choices