Definitioncrab lice / crabs / pediculosis pubis, is caused by the Phthirus pubis parasite (or crab louse), a small, flat-bodied, whitish-gray or brownish-red, wingless, sucking louse, infesting the hairy part of the body, mostly the pubic hair, but occasionally the hair of the chest, armpits, eyelashes and eyebrows; it uses its claws to grab and hang onto hairs while feeding on its host's blood. Crabs are usually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, but can also be transmitted through sleeping in infested bedding, wearing infested clothing, and possibly from contact with an infested toilet seat. SYMPTOMS: Mild to intense itching in the pubic or groin area, especially at night. TREATMENT: Several prescription or over-the-counter creams, lotions, or shampoos. Some of the common brands include Nix, Lice-Enz, R&C Shampoo, Kwell, and RID.
SYNONYMS: (R.S. = rhyming slang with crabs) ass mites; body lice; bosom buddies; bodsom chums; bosom friends; boys on ice (rhyming slang); bugs; chatts; cooties; crabs; creepers; critters; crotch crickets; crotch critters; crotch monkeys; crumb; dibs and dabs (R.S.); dick scropions; gentleman's companions; Hansom cabs (R.S.); itchy-scratchies; lap bugs; lice; light troops; love bugs; pant rabbits; papillon d'amour (butterfly of love); pubic visitors; Sandy McNabs (R.S.); shattis; snatch monsters; social dandruff.
QUOTE: A short poem composed by Lou Perelli (Alan Arkin) and Ruben Martinez (Andy Garcia) for Judge W. Myers (David Ogden Stiers) in Steal Big, Steal Little (1995): ' May bleeding piles torment you and corns adorn your feet / And crabs as big as horse flies dig into your balls and eat / And when you're old and weary and a siphilitic wreck / May you fall through your own bottom and break your bloody neck.'
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