Pubic lice can cause severe itching and irritation. These tiny parasites infest the genital areas and can be spread to other parts of the body where hair is coarse, including armpit, leg, and facial hair. In addition to itching, people with pubic lice may also notice symptoms such as black spots in their underwear and small red or blue bites on the skin in affected areas.
Why should you get tested?
If left untreated, pubic lice can lead to further problems, including infection and scarring. Early detection and treatment can prevent long-term issues.
Who should get tested?
Any person who experiences persistent itching or finds signs of bites near their genitals should visit their physician for pubic lice testing.
When to get tested
It’s best to get tested as soon as symptoms arise.
Because the test is completed via a visual examination instead of laboratory testing, it’s easy to prepare for your appointment. Simply ensure the area is clean, and wear comfortable clothing that’s easy to remove for the examination.
Occasionally, you might be able to detect the presence of pubic lice or nits on your own. However, in most cases, it’s best to see a doctor who can easily recognize signs of an infestation and prescribe the best course of treatment.
When you get to your doctor’s office for testing, you’ll likely be asked an array of personal questions. Be prepared to offer information about your symptoms, how long they’ve been present, recent sexual partners, whether you’ve shared personal items, and if you’ve attempted to treat symptoms on your own.
After answering some questions, you’ll typically be asked to remove the bottom portion of your clothing and to be prepared for the doctor to conduct a visual inspection of your genitals. While adult lice and some nits are usually big enough to be seen with the naked eye, your physician might require a magnifying glass to detect the presence of smaller lice.
Once your doctor has completed a visual examination, they’ll typically let you know what the diagnosis is immediately. There aren’t any laboratory tests for pubic lice, so there shouldn’t be any need to wait for results.
Once diagnosed, your doctor will offer you treatment options that could include prescription lotion or prescription medications. Your doctor might also suggest using a lice comb to remove visible nits and lice from pubic hair. Additionally, you’ll likely be told to wash personal items that could be contaminated.
If you’ve contracted pubic lice as a result of sexual contact, your doctor might suggest that you undergo a full STD screening. Alternatively, if your diagnosis is negative, you may be asked to undergo other testing, such as allergy tests, to determine the cause of your symptoms.
If you want to learn more about pubic lice and pubic lice testing, check out the links below.