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Crabs Aren’t Cute When it Comes to STDs

It’s time for another lesson on STD slang. Last time we talked about slang words for STDs we uncovered that “The Clap” refers to gonorrhea. Our next STD slang: Crabs.


There's nothing cute about crabs AKA pubic lice.

What are “Crabs?”

Crabs – and we’re not talking about those little red things that crawl in the sand with pinchers – are actually public lice. We previously described public lice and the symptoms. Here’s a quick review:

  • Public lice work like ticks – they attach themselves to skin and feed on blood.
  • Crabs can be passed by having contact with any person OR MATERIAL (sharing clothes, towels & bedding)
  • Crabs can only survive through the warmth of a human host (so you can’t get them from a pool.)
  • They are visible – they start out gray and turn red, they may drop eggs near public hair follicles and bite.
  • They ITCH (especially at night.)
  • They are easily treated with cremes (both prescription and non-prescription.)
  • Chances are, if you’ve had crabs – you might have another STD (or two.)

Why are Public Lice called Crabs?

This nickname for a common STD is much easier to understand than “the clap.” Pubic lice, when viewed microscopically, look like little crabs. Plus, they feed off the host and turn red as they fill with blood.

How to Avoid Crabs?

Obviously, the best way to avoid crabs is to avoid any sexual contact with someone else who has crabs. Condom use won’t prevent you from getting crabs from another infected person since the condom does not cover the pubic hair follicles from touching. Make sure to take caution when sharing clothing, towels or bedding with another individual – especially if they have crabs. Washing in hot water can help rid any lingering lice that may be hiding out in the fibers.

If you do come down with crabs, see a physician to help recommend remedy. Pubic lice may be treated similarly to any other case of lice – it’s important to comb out any obvious parasites and eggs, faithfully apply cremes, and avoid contact with other individuals until the lice are gone.

Don’t Forget:  If you have Crabs it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED you get STD tested.

Find a STD testing site near you.


posted in crabs,pubic lice,STD Slang and have Comment (1)

One comment

  1. Comment by Pin Oak Hill on May 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Funny title and good information. Thanks for an informative blog on a subject a lot of us try and avoid.

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