Pubic lice treatment

If you suspect that you have been infected by crab lice, you can conduct a self-examination by searching for eggs or crab lice at the site of itching. Since crab lice are only about 2 mm long, a microscope may make it easier to find eggs or lice to confirm the diagnosis. To find eggs, focus the search on the base of the hair strands. The diagnosis can also be confirmed at a visit to a nurse or doctor. 

A nonprescription emulsion (Tenutex) to treat pubic lice is available at the pharmacy. It is important to carefully follow instructions and to treat all afflicted individuals at the same time to minimize the risk of reinfection. It is common for the itching to persist for a while after treatment due to the hypersensitivity reaction to pubic lice. Itching can be treated by applying hydrocortisone cream to the affected skin area. Should itching persist for more than three weeks after treatment, re-examination for pubic lice is indicated. 

If pubic lice or eggs are suspected or found in eyebrows or eyelashes, contact a doctor for treatment because the nonprescription treatments available at the pharmacy are not recommended for use near the eyes. Usually only petroleum jelly and tweezers are used to remove pubic lice from these areas.

It is also important to sanitize the environment when treating for pubic lice. Pubic lice may survive off the human body and without blood for up to 24 hours. Wash clothing, bedding and towels at 60o C. Objects that cannot easily be washed may be sealed in bags for about 30 days to ensure that all pubic lice are dead. 


Tenutex is a prescription free drug that is active against scabieshead lice and pubic lice. Tenutex cutaneous emulsion is available in a tube of 100g at your pharmacy (located in the fridge).

Please note that the doctor may have prescribed the drug for other usage and / or with a different dosage than stated in the leaflet. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations and instructions on the label of the medicine package.

Treatment of Pubic lice (Crabs, Pediculosis pubis) with Tenutex®

Rub crotch, armpits and other hairy parts of the body (legs) with Tenutex. There is no need to treat the head hair, but if lice occur their appropriate treatment it as for the head lice. Tenutex may not be used around the eyes. When having pubic lice in the eyelashes one should get medical attention. Wait for all bodily washes for 48 hours after a Tenutex treatment.

Tips about pubic lice

  • –  Sanitize the environment against pubic lice to minimize the risk of re-infection.
  • –  Carefully clean the bathroom.
  • –  Machine wash all appropriate items.
  • –  Inform anyone who may have been exposed to minimize the risk of spread.
  • –  Examine the whole family and treat all infected individuals at the same time.
  • –  Contact a doctor if pubic lice treatment fails to eliminate all lice.

Click here to read more about Tenutex®



Page edited 2016-01-08.

Treatment information

Tenutex® is a cutaneous emulsion containing benzyl benzoate / disulfiram. Tenutex® is a prescription free medicine that is active against Scabies, Head lice, and Pubic lice. Ask your doctor or nurse before using Tenutex® for treating Pubic lice. Treatment of Pubic lice: Massage crotch, armpits and other hairy areas on the body (for example legs) with Tenutex®. The head hair does normally not need to be treated but should lice appear there, treatment should be carried out according instructions for head lice. Wait for 48 hours and then wash off Tenutex®. Avoid contact with the eyes. Pubic lice occurring in the eye lashes should not be treated with Tenutex®. Tenutex® contains cetostearyl alcohol which may cause local skin reactions (e.g. contact dermatitis). Read the patient information leaflet carefully before use.