History and background of pubic lice

Pubic lice, or Pthirus pubis, are commonly referred to as crab lice or simply 'crabs' . This name has come from the crab-like.
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Every few years, a story comes along predicting its demise, most recently a Bloomberg article that blames the increasing number of women — and men — who remove their pubic hair. Think of it as deforestation on a massive, global scale. It wasn't much different in , when doctors Nicola Armstrong and Janet Wilson, two sexual health specialists, in a letter titled "Did the Brazilian kill the pubic louse?

Where does this leave the woman who has so far resisted all patriarchal and capitalist pressures to wax her bits until they resemble a child's, but would like to do her bit for parasite annihilation?


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The problem with all such reports is data. Armstrong and Wilson acknowledged their study had "many important methodological flaws", such as not studying pubic-hair removal rates, and whether people with pubic lice were finding it hard to get appointments. They also didn't mention the possibility that people are self-medicating with over-the-counter products rather than going to an STD clinic. Reliable figures elsewhere are non-existent — a spokesperson for the Health Protection Agency says, rather aptly: "We don't have anything in that area.

Bloomberg quoted doctors who have gone years without seeing a case of pubic lice, and in the UK doctors are reporting seeing fewer cases: Peter Greenhouse, a consultant in sexual health in Bristol says "I've probably gone about six months without seeing a person with pubic lice; 20 years ago, we would have seen several a week".

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Of lice and men: An itchy history - Scientific American Blog Network

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Of lice and men: An itchy history

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Life Cycle: Pubic lice Pthirus pubis have three stages: egg, nymph and adult. Eggs nits are laid on a hair shaft. Females will lay approximately 30 eggs during their 3—4 week life span. Eggs hatch after about a week and become nymphs, which look like smaller versions of the adults.