STDs Expert Forum
lice /crabs scare
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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lice /crabs scare

Dr,

I'm deeply worried that I may have contracted pubice lice . Around 3- 4 days ago I got a massage at a massage parlor. Im worried because I layed on the table against a towel naked with my penis against the towel. Nothing really sexual went on except a hand job at the end of the massage. However I tend to be ocd but after 2 days I have had significant itching in the scrotum area which I havent experienced before. When I self exam I dont really see much, although I wasnt sure if I saw an white egg or something moving its so small its really tough to see. I definitely have significant itching but Im not sure if the is manifested because I felt getting a hand job was wrong. Then I start reading and I see you can get crabs from a towel and who know how sanitary this place was. What is the incubation period of crabs I see varying things on the net anywhere from 5days - 3 weeks . Some spots say within the hour of exposure. Is it possible I caught this from a towel . Please advise as I dont know what to tell my wife
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239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the STD forum.

As you were told on the community forum, you were unlikely to acquire pubic lice.  Even if the towels were not changed after every customer, there would be little likelihood of transmission.  Equally important, pubic lice are unlikely to cause itching after only 4 days.  If you have found a website that says 5 days, maybe it's true -- but 2-4 weeks is more common.  In any case, if you have it, there shoudn't be any difficulty finding the lice or nits (eggs) attached to pubic hairs.  But if you remain uncertain, visit a health care provider -- such as your local health department STD clinic -- and get professionally examined.

Regards--  HHH, MD
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
You site that even if towels weren't changed its unlikely why is this the case I thought it can live on a towel for 24-48 hours. If I did have it you believe it would be fairly easy to detect from self examination. Please advise.
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Avatar_m_tn
Actually thats what Im wondering of the towel wasnt changed why is it unlikely that I would get it.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Who knows?  There is absolutely no research on this; it's all based on common sense, not science.  You have to consider a) the odds the massage parlor didn't change the towel, b) the chance a previous customer had crab lice, c) if so, the chance that living lice would be left behind on the towel, d) the odds that the lice would successfully attach to a new host in the time s/he were in contact with the towel, and e) the odds of symptoms as soon as 4 days.  Considering all these factors, this simply doesn't seem like a realistic scenario.  But as I said, you are always free to seek medical care if you don't trust my opinion on it.

That's all for this thread.  
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