Head lice

Updated 19 January 2016

Treating pubic lice

Treating pubic lice usually involves the use of an insecticidal shampoo or lotion. Multiple treatments are usually needed to completely remove the lice.

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Once you have pubic lice, you will need to treat the infestation to remove the lice. They are unlikely to just disappear on their own and the longer you are untreated, the higher the chance you will pass pubic lice on to your sexual partner.

Pubic lice can be treated with non-prescription insecticidal lotion or shampoo. The creams or lotions are thought to be more effective than shampoos.

Apply the treatment to the entire affected area. To entirely remove both the lice and nits, you will need to repeat the treatment at least every 7 days until no more lice or nits are present. 

You can remove visible lice and nits with tweezers. Be sure to drop the lice and nits in a cup or bowl of water as you go.

Your sexual partner will also need to undergo treatment to prevent the lice from moving from one person to another during close contact. It is also recommended that you regularly wash all bedding and towels on a hot cycle to get rid of any lice that may be off the body.

Pubic hair is similar in texture and thickness to eyebrow hair and eyelashes. This means that the infestation can spread to your eye area. It is important that you do not treat your eyebrows or eyelashes with the same insecticidal treatment you are using for your pubic region as this can cause damage if it comes into contact with your eye.

Instead, use petroleum jelly on your eyelashes and brows. This slows the lice and can kill them. 

In both your pubic area and eye area, you can remove visible lice and nits with tweezers. Be sure to drop the lice and nits in a cup or bowl of water as you carry on to ensure that they are dead. 

Read more:

What are pubic lice?

Symptoms of pubic lice

Diagnosing pubic lice