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There are a range of bugs and viruses that you can catch during sex. Learn about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), how to prevent them, how to diagnose them and how they are treated.


What is it?

Crabs, also known as pubic lice, are tiny mites that live in coarse body hair including pubic hair, beards, chest hair and eyebrows.

How do you get it?

You can only get crabs from contact with someone who has crabs — through close skin-to-skin contact or by sharing clothes, bed sheets or towels.

What are the symptoms?

Crabs can cause intense itchiness where the mites are on your body, though this may take several weeks to appear.

Diagnosis and treatment

You or a doctor can check if you have crabs by inspecting your body hair to look for mites that look like tiny, flat, brown crabs.

Crabs are treated with a genital lice shampoo or cream available from a pharmacy without prescription.

Once you apply the treatment, wash all clothes, towels and linen in warm soapy water.

How do you prevent it?

Crabs spread easily between people with no proven ways to prevent them. However, treatment for crabs is straightforward.